WARNING - ALERT
As scam artists become more sophisticated, so do their phishing e-mail messages.
Phishing is a type of deception designed to steal your valuable personal data. Scam artists might send millions of fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to come from Web sites you trust including USAJOBS®. We ask you to remain alert for counterfeit "phishing" emails that may appear to come from Monster.com or USAJOBS®®.
USAJOBS® will NEVER request personal information via unsolicited email (i.e. not a response to an email sent by you). Monster has also assured us THEY will NEVER ask any site users to download any software, "tool" or "access agreement.
Please also be on the alert for fraudulent email that advertises positions managing financial transactions, or cashing checks. These emails are attempting to engage job seekers in a money laundering or bad check scam.
If you receive a suspicious email regarding your USAJOBS search, email it, with the full "header" information intact, to us at: email@example.com. Instructions on obtaining header information can be found at: http://www.spamcop.com/help_with_headers/.
The Federal Trade Commission suggests these tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:
- If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. And don't click on the link in the message, either. Legitimate companies don't ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization mentioned in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company's correct Web address yourself. In any case, don't cut and paste the link from the message into your Internet browser — phishers can make links look like they go to one place, but that actually send you to a different site.
- Area codes can mislead. Some scammers send an email that appears to be from a legitimate business and ask you to call a phone number to update your account or access a “refund.” Because they use Voice Over Internet Protocol technology, the area code you call does not reflect where the scammers really are. If you need to reach an organization you do business with, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card. In any case, delete random emails that ask you to confirm or divulge your financial information.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge.
- Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for antivirus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; that can effectively reverse the damage; and that updates automatically.
- A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It's especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. Operating systems (like Windows or Linux) or browsers (like Internet Explorer or Netscape) also may offer free software “patches” to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit.
- Don't email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization's website, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser's status bar or a URL for a website that begins “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.
- Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer's security.
- Forward spam that is phishing for information to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems.
The USAJOBS Team wants to remind you that we NEVER request personal information via unsolicited mail (i.e. not a response to an email sent by you). If you ever receive an email message that appears to be from USAJOBS, but you suspect that it is not legitimate, we request that you take the following actions:
- DO NOT respond to the e-mail
- DO NOT click on any links within the email
- Forward the e-mail in its entirety to: email@example.com
- Delete the e-mail upon forwarding to USAJOBS
For more information on reporting fraud read our Federal Job Scam Information Sheet
If you believe you've been scammed, you can file a complaint at ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft website at www.consumer.gov/idtheft. Victims of phishing can become victims of identity theft. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim of identity theft, you can take some steps to minimize your risk. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these new accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You may catch an incident early if you order a free copy of your credit report periodically from any of the three major credit bureaus. See www.annualcreditreport.com for details on ordering a free annual credit report.
We remain committed to safeguarding the integrity of the information provided by job seekers. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.