Government Email Addresses From Cities In Other States Are Being Used By Fraudsters Claiming To Be IDES

Chicago News

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you get an email from a dot-gov account, it’s legit, right?

Wrong – scammers are now using government email addresses from cities in other states to send fraudulent messages claiming to be from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

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As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported, it is the latest in a long line of unemployment-related scams.

Mark Nugent is happily retired and spends time on the golf course these days.

“I’ve never applied for unemployment,” Nugent said.

So an email he received Tuesday morning was such a surprise. It claimed to be from IDES, directing him to a link to claim his $1,400 unemployment payment.

“I’ve got a pretty good spam filter, but somehow, this made it through,” Nugent said.

It was even from a dot-gov email account – but not one from Illinois. The dot-gov was Seattle.gov.

“If I were in a position where I truly needed that income, I’d be really concerned, that, you know, I’m thinking this is from a legitimate government entity and in fact, it’s not,” Nugent said.

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We emailed the account, asking what does Seattle have to do with IDES?

The response was: “My account was corrupted last night, so anyone who received IDES-related email from Seattle should just delete it.”

The City of Seattle said nearly two dozen of their employees fell for an email phishing scam Monday night and the city has now disabled those accounts.

“If I were not computer savvy or internet savvy, I would be concerned, because, who do you trust?” Nugent said.

A couple weeks ago, IDES took to Twitter to warn people about phishing email scams “designed to trick you into disclosing personal info.”

We recently got another tip from someone who got a similar email from memphis-tn.gov account.

The email likely didn’t come from anywhere near Memphis or Graceland, but it is fit for suspicious minds.

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We’ve reached out to the City of Memphis to ask how that happened. No response yet.

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