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2012-08-09 digital edition

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2012-08-09 / General Stories

TWC Warns Texans about Gift Card Email Scam

Agency encourages Texas residents to educate themselves about online security.

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) warned today that emails claiming to offer free gift cards “on behalf of Texas Workforce Commission” are not to be trusted. Such offers are not attributable to TWC, and anyone who receives such an email should delete it immediately. Responding to the email, or clicking on the included web link, may result in harmful malware being downloaded to the recipient’s computer, TWC warned.

TWC has received reports of scam emails claiming to be sent on behalf of TWC, stating the recipient has won a $1,000 gift card. The email instructed the recipient to visit a website called “rewards2012” to claim the gift card. However, if a recipient follows the link to the website, malware attempts to download to their computer.

This is a known “phishing” scam, and TWC reminds Texans never to click on links in an email from an unknown source. Phishers and scammers often will direct people to websites that look very similar to legitimate websites in order to obtain login credentials or personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers, dates of birth or mother’s maiden names. Following these links may result in monetary or identity theft.

Texas residents also are reminded that TWC staff will never call or email to obtain personally identifiable information, perform home visits, or use text messages to contact them. Unemployment benefit recipients should only give personal information when filing for benefits online at ui.texasworkforce.org or when speaking to an unemployment benefit customer service representative on the Tele-Center phone filing system at 800-939-6631.

TWC encourages individuals to check their bank or other online account settings for unusual activity if they suspect they are victims of identity theft. To avoid becoming a victim of online scams, visit the Office of the Attorney General online at www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/ scams.shtml or www.onguardonline.gov, managed by the Federal Trade Commission, for more information. To report suspicious emails posing as official TWC messages, please call TWC’s Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline at 800-252-3642.

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