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New email phishing campaign aims to bilk jobless funds

Updated October 19, 2020 - 12:37 pm

As hundreds of thousands of Nevadans file for unemployment each week, the state’s workforce agency is warning employers about a new email phishing campaign.

Cybercriminals, impersonating the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, are sending emails to employers from “DETR <notificationalert@ui.nv.gov>” asking recipients to respond for further instruction. The agency said the address is not associated with DETR.

DETR has absolutely no involvement with this type of unauthorized practice, does not send these kinds of messages through email and does not ask employers to respond to an email to obtain further instructions,” the agency said Monday in a news release.

DETR urges recipients to delete the correspondence.

Pandemic-related jobless fraud is widespread across the country as state workforce agencies grapple with an influx of bogus unemployment applications. The Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General, the agency’s watchdog office, recently said that criminals have pocketed an estimated $26 billion in unemployment benefits this year.

DETR estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 unemployment filings are fraudulent.

Last week, U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich said his office will prioritize prosecution of unemployment fraud cases because “prompt payments or benefits can make a big difference to Nevadans who need help.”

Contact Jonathan Ng at jng@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ByJonathanNg on Twitter.

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