The Washington State Employment Security Department is urging people looking for work to be skeptical of promotional emails using phrases such as "Unemployment Information Center" and "Get Unemployment Benefits."
The emails are targeting the unemployed, a department news release said, and are asking for personal information and offering services ranging from debt relief and credit-score checks to tarot readings.
"I can easily imagine someone thinking that these spam communications are from us," Annette Taylor, the department's chief investigator, said in the release.
"We just want to remind people to trust their instincts. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't."
Taylor said the spammers don't appear to be doing anything illegal and they likely don't know if the email recipients are employed or unemployed.
Employment Security does not charge for its services and communicates with unemployment recipients mainly by direct mail or phone. Also, an email from Employment Security would come from an email address that ends in @esd.wa.gov.
People with unemployment questions or questions about their claims should call the department's unemployment claims line at 800-318-6022 or visit esd.wa.gov.
Consumer complaints may be filed on the Federal Trade Commission's website at ftc.gov.