Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt, OESC Warn of Text Scam Aimed at Unemployed
Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt and the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission issued a warning today on a text phishing scam aimed at unemployed Oklahomans.
“Our job is to protect Oklahoma consumers from fraud and phishing scams, which are often used to gain personal information for identity theft,” Pruitt warned. “Oklahomans should never give out personal information in response to an e-mail or text. Authentic companies, banks and government agencies will never ask for personal information through text message.”
“Phishing” is the fraudulent attempt by con-artists to obtain personally identifiable information from the public by sending millions of e-mails or text messages randomly to anyone with an electronic account. These e-mails appear to be from a company or government agency, and are designed to look authentic, right down to the company or government logo.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission has received reports about texts that ask consumers to call a telephone number for assistance with unemployment paperwork. When consumers call the number, they are asked to enter their unemployment debit card number before being transferred.
“The OESC does not use text messages to reach consumers,” said Richard McPherson, executive director of the commission. “If you receive such a text, please do not call the number. Instead, report the text to the commission.”
To report a text, consumers can call the OESC at (888) 980-9675 or the Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029. To file a complaint online, go to www.oag.ok.gov.
OESC is a major partner in Workforce Oklahoma. Workforce Oklahoma centers are located across the state and provide a variety of services for free such as assistance with job placement, job searches, skill upgrading, resumes, training providers and career navigation. In-person help with unemployment claims also is available at select Workforce Oklahoma centers across the state. All services are available at no cost to customers.
The Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the complaints received by OESC for criminal or civil action, but in the meantime, Pruitt wants consumers to be cautious.
“Consumers should always be wary of providing their personal and financial data to unknown entities unless they initiate the call,” Pruitt said.
To find the nearest Workforce Oklahoma center, call toll-free (888) 980-9675.
To file an unemployment claim through OESC, call (405) 525-1500 in the Oklahoma City area or (800) 555-1554 for all other areas.
Claims also can be filed online at www.unemployment.ok.gov.