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Phone Scammers Posing As Maine Dept. Of Labor - Mar. 05, 2013

AUGUSTA -- The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) has learned of a scam that attempts to obtain personal information over the phone by individuals posing as employees of the department.

The scam was reported to the department by a woman who has been employed as a nurse at the same facility for 13 years and is not looking for work. She received a call from a male with a foreign accent stating he worked for the "labor department."  He told the nurse he was calling, "to help you find a job." In the background, the nurse could hear what sounded like other people talking on telephones.

Although the nurse told the caller that she did not need a new job, the caller repeated his offer to help her find work. The nurse asked, "Where are you calling from?" He replied, "Department of Labor in Maine" and said that "we would like to take your name and some personal information and even though you have a job we will keep this on file and help you in the future." When the nurse asked for the caller's name, he hung up on her.

Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette warned Mainers, "The Department of Labor does not call people who are not already engaged with one of our programs and ask for personal information, and our staff will always identify themselves with their name, title and purpose of the call."

"If you get a suspicious call, ask for the caller's name and tell that caller that you will call them back; then call the Department's customer service number at 207-623-7900 and ask for that person.  If it is legitimate, we can connect you directly.  If it is not, you may have saved yourself from identify theft or other problems. It is better to be safe than sorry," said the commissioner.

Individuals who think they might have been targeted should contact local law enforcement and the Department of Labor at 207-623-7900.

The department administers Maine's unemployment insurance system, is responsible for ensuring the safety of public employees, provides workforce development leadership and vocational rehabilitation services throughout the state and collects and publishes research on employment data to support job growth.