October 1, 2007
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Employment Edge 77th Edition - EEOC Issues Alert Regarding E-Mail “Phishing” Scam


  • EEOC Issues Alert Regarding E-Mail “Phishing” Scam

The EEOC recently issued a press release regarding a “Phishing” e-mail that is being sent to employers and purports to be from the EEOC.  A copy of the EEOC Press Release is below and can also be found on the EEOC website: http://www.eeoc.gov/press/10-19-07.html.  If you have received an e-mail from the EEOC regarding a purported harassment complaint, you should not click on the included link or download any attached file.  The EEOC does not use e-mail to inform employers of discrimination complaints.  Rather, the EEOC informs employers of discrimination and harassment complaints through the US Postal System.  If you have any questions about a notice you have received from the EEOC regarding a discrimination or harassment complaint, please contact Carl Crosby Lehmann or another member of the Gray Plant Mooty Employment and Labor Law Practice Group.

Friday, October 19, 2007                            James Ryan           
                                                                   (202) 663-4191
                                                           TTY: (202) 663-4494


Federal Agency Identifies Internet Fraud Being Perpetrated Against Employers

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) late today notified the business community and general public to a "phishing" e-mail circulating to companies that purports to be from the federal agency regarding a harassment complaint. The bogus e-mail contains a Trojan Horse Virus that is likely to harm a recipient's computer if the user clicks on the referenced web link and/or downloads the attached file.

The phony e-mail to employers -- being circulated under the subject "Harassment Complaint Update For"-- contains links where the respondent can allegedly access details of a fake discrimination claim. The EEOC has reported the issue to appropriate authorities.

The EEOC's policy is to notify an employer of the filing of a charge of employment discrimination using the U.S. Postal System. Because of security concerns, the EEOC does not notify employers of the filing of a charge of discrimination via e-mail. Consequently, if a company receives an e-mail notification which purports to advise the respondent of the filing of a charge of employment discrimination with the EEOC, the federal agency urges users to delete it immediately.

The contents of the phishing e-mail include an EEOC logo under the subject line and contain purported language from the EEOC under a subject heading, "Employer Liability for Harassment." Excerpts of the phishing e-mail are highlighted below:

FROM: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

SUBJECT: "Harassment Complaint Update For"

This is an automated email that confirms the registration of harassment complaint #number...this harassment complaint can lead to law enforcement action. You can download and print a copy of this complaint to keep for your personal records here...Our staff will keep you updated regarding the status of our investigation...To check the status of your complaint access:

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its official web site at www.eeoc.gov.

The Employment Edge is a periodic publication of Gray Plant Mooty, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.  The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult an employment lawyer concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.


This article is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. You are urged to consult a lawyer concerning any specific legal questions you may have.