ATLANTA - WellStar Health System is assuring patients and the public that its records and systems are secure after Channel 2 alerted the hospital chain to a job scam pirating the company's name.
Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland broke this story on Twitter Thursday morning.
An offer from WellStar for an at-home data-entry job came only days after Andrea Frazier posted her resume to an online job site.
"I was excited. I was telling my family, 'Oh, I got an offer from WellStar.’ So I was really excited about the opportunity," she told Strickland.
Scammers had emailed an employment packet bearing the chain's logo, but all of the contacts used a Gmail address, not wellstar.org.
"There were just so many different flags that allowed me to identify something wasn’t right there," Frazier said.
WellStar is well-known, but the offer of $25.75 per hour is at least $10 over the going rate.
"If they see a well-known name and they see a dollar amount behind the job, they may pay more attention to that, other than ABC company out of the clear blue sky," said Larry Underkoffler, of North Georgia Staffing.
The job scammers later mailed Frazier a fraudulent check to set up a home office.
Had the scam played out, Frazier would have deposited the check, and the imposters would have asked for a portion of it to be sent back. That would have been real money belonging to Frazier.
Frazier is coming forward for those who may be too desperate for work to have seen the signs.
"This is awful and this needs to be stopped," she said.
WellStar released the following statement:
"Identity fraud is rampant in the United States and the use of tactics such as social engineering and phishing is a growing problem. The Bureau of Criminal Statistics at the Department of Justice lists identity theft as the most frequent crime in the country. Many health systems in the United States have been targeted by criminals in fraud cases and WellStar takes active steps to protect the security of its information systems. Recently, WellStar's name and logo were used by criminals to deceive someone seeking a job. WellStar is cooperating with authorities for the protection of the general public and the communities we serve. This scam did not involve access to WellStar information and no patients or patient information were involved. For anyone who would like to verify that correspondence from WellStar is legitimate, such as job offers or training opportunities, we recommend contacting WellStar at 770-956-star."
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