Phishers Said to ‘Spoof’ Labor Dept. Phones, Promising Funds

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By Ben Penn

The Labor Department received reports of voice phishers hacking the agency’s phone lines and promising funds to potential grantees in exchange for personal information.

The DOL’s Employment and Training Administration alerted the public to this issue on its website Jan. 30, stating that the department would never ask for Social Security numbers or other personal information over the phone. In response to a Bloomberg Law inquiry, a DOL spokesman said: “On Friday afternoon, January 19th, 2018, at 1:45PM, members of the public and potential grantees called ETA to complain about receiving telephone calls from phishers. The phishers had spoofed the ETA Main Line, (202) 693-2700 as ‘Department of Labor,’ and were asking the call recipients to provide personally identifiable information, including their social security numbers.”

The ETA has an annual budget of billions of dollars, much of which is distributed to job training programs and other grantees.

“The DOL Computer Security Incident Response Team managed the incident appropriately, and the Office of Inspector General was also notified,” the spokesman added in his emailed statement.

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