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Monday, March 28, 2011

Unemployment Spam Not from Employment Security

The Washington State Employment Security Department is warning  residents to beware of spam that may lead people to believe the emails are from the state agency – and not spam.

From the Employment Security Department

Advertisers are using phrases such as “Unemployment Information Center” and “Get Unemployment Benefits” in emails targeting the unemployed. The emails ask for personal information and offer services ranging from debt relief and credit-score checks to tarot readings.

“I’m receiving emails from these people,” an unemployment claimant said in a recent email to Employment Security. “Are they part of ESD?”

None of the emails was from Employment Security – but it was smart to ask.

“I can easily imagine someone thinking that these spam communications are from us,” said Annette Taylor, chief investigator for Employment Security. “We just want to remind people to trust their instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.”

Taylor added that these spammers don’t appear to be doing anything illegal from the department’s perspective, and they likely don’t know who among the email recipients is employed or unemployed.

Employment Security does not charge for its services and communicates primarily with unemployment claimants by direct mail or phone. Also, an email from Employment Security would come from an email address that ends in

Individuals who have general unemployment questions or questions about their claims should call the department’s unemployment claims line at 800-318-6022 or visit

Consumer complaints can be filed on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at