The Maine Department of Labor said Friday that a scammer used a fake posting on the Maine Job Board in an attempt to get financial information from job seekers.
According to the department, a posting for accounting and administrative assistant jobs at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston was automatically referred to 40 job seekers by a computer that matches job offerings with workers’ skills. Officials said Friday that at least four of those job seekers communicated with the poster by email, but none provided financial information.
A job applicant contacted the department Friday and the bogus posting was removed, said Julie Rabinowitz, a spokeswoman for the department.
Rabinowitz said CMMC and the other applicants were all contacted Friday morning after the fake posting was removed.
Employers with job openings can post their positions on the Job Board by going online or by mailing or faxing the listing to the department’s staff, Rabinowitz said. Employers are vetted when they initially post and are required to provide the company’s tax ID number and a contact person when they want to post a job, she said.
The fake post was sent to the Labor Department and included CMMC’s tax ID number and a name similar to an actual contact in the hospital’s human resources department, Rabinowitz said, so it was allowed to go on the job board.
She said the scammer probably got the contact’s name from CMMC’s website, but the department isn’t sure how the hospital’s tax ID number was obtained.
Applicants who replied to the poster by sending an email to a Yahoo account listed on the posting received a description of the job and questions designed to gauge the applicant’s skills. The email also said the at-home job paid $12 an hour during training and $20 an hour once training was done.
Rabinowitz said subsequent emails asked for the applicant’s bank account number so the pay could be directly deposited in the worker’s account. The scammers intended to use that information to transfer money out of those accounts, Rabinowitz said.
The department is currently checking other postings to determine if they were also improperly listed on the Job Board.
Rabinowitz said if a job seeker had not become suspicious and checked with the department, the fake posting likely would have been detected when employers are contacted after two weeks to determine if they’ve been able to find an employee. She said all Job Board posts are deleted after 90 days.
The department is reviewing its procedures, Rabinowitz said, to determine if changes are needed. The Maine Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Department of Labor have also been contacted, she said.
Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: