A bogus e-mail circulating to human resources departments in major US companies purporting to be from the government’s equal opportunities agency actually contains a computer virus.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is warning of a ‘phishing’ e-mail circulating to companies that claims to be regarding a harassment complaint.
The e-mail contains a virus that is “likely to harm the recipient’s computer” if the user clicks on the weblink and/or downloads the attached file, the EEOC said.
Phishing e-mails typically attempt to acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and other details.
The e-mail has a subject line of “Harassment Complaint Update For” and contains links where the respondent can allegedly access details of a fake discrimination claim. The phoney content includes an EEOC logo and a heading that reads “Employer Liability for Harassment”.
The letter advises firms to download and print a copy of the complaint by clicking on a link, which installs the virus on the user’s computer.
While the EEOC routinely notifies employers when an employee discrimination charge is filed, it has repeated that this process is always done through the post.
An EEOC statement said: “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.”