UPDATE: Another Phishing Scam Hits AnswerNet

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Editor’s Note: On June 2, 2010, we published a story regarding a phishing scam website, careers-answernet.com, that had targeted unsuspecting people interested in a career at AnswerNet.

Now another phishing website, answernet-jobs.com, has been attempting to gain valuable personal information from those seeking employment. Please read the original post below to learn what you should do if you have been contacted by answernet-jobs.com or careers-answernet.com.  

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that people will go to hurt other people. AnswerNet’s name was used by a phishing scammer seeking people’s financial information and we are posting this blog in efforts to warn and protect people from this scam.

The URL careers-answernet.com, which has since been removed thanks to the efforts of our internal IT Team and General Counsel, was fraudulently registered by a scammer or group of scammers. These fraudsters then copied our site in its entire functionality except for one link – our job application page. AnswerNet job seekers were sent to a false “application” site to enter their information.

These applicants would then get an email telling them they were being considered for an open position that required them to go to a “special” credit check site.  That site then required the applicants to provide financial information.  In an especially devious manner, the fraudsters did not request their credit information directly, but simply asked for the report number assigned by the credit site.

This led applicants to believe that the credit reporting site a trustworthy, independently run application. It also gave the impression their credit information would not be seen by the company, therefore adding a greater legitimacy to the request.

AnswerNet learned of this phishing scheme when applicants began contacting us using our general phone number and web-based contact form to request the status of their application. After hearing that some of the applicants had provided their financial information as part of the submission process, something that is not a standard procedure, we swiftly deployed our team to stop the fraudulent site.

When someone contacts us about this we are responding in the following manner:

Please be advised that AnswerNet believes that you may have been a victim of an internet phishing scam.  We have received several reports of individuals who were contacted by someone acting as a recruiter for careers-answernet.com. The individuals were requested to complete applications for employment and asked to request credit reports by clicking on a link. All other contact information provided by the applicant was forwarded directly to AnswerNet’s website so that the employment solicitation appeared legitimate.  However, this solicitation is not associated with AnswerNet.

Our IT department has contacted the hosting company (GoDaddy and Domains by Proxy) with a cease and desist request.  Additionally, AnswerNet has reported this phishing scam to both the FBI’s Internet Crimes Bureau at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx and the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness team at phishing-report@us-cert.gov.

We suggest that you report your concerns to the agencies listed, and/or your local authorities and your state attorney general’s office.

We sincerely regret that both you and AnswerNet alike appear to have been victimized by this internet fraud.  We hope that by receiving this information in a timely manner, you are able to head off any potential negative impact on your privacy or personal credit information.

Very truly yours,

 Gary Pudles

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