Fraudulent Email Attacks ManufacturerBy Carlton Purvis, Published Aug 02, 2013, 12:00am EDT
An email circulating around the surveillance industry accusing a sales manager of sexual harassment is a hoax, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) confirmed to IPVM.
Claims - Manufacturer and A&E Firm
The email purports to be a message from an EEOC office announcing an investigation into the claims after receiving a complaint from an unnamed female. Specifically, the email alleges that a surveillance manufacturer sales manager made "inappropriate sexual invitations" to a female employee at an A&E firm.
The email says there is a list of people that may have “knowledge of any other inappropriate behavior performed by the man in question.”
An EEOC representative told us that the email is a hoax and that the commission does not announce investigations or solicit information this way. “We’ve been getting a lot of calls about this email this week, and it is not real. It is fraud,” he said.
He also said that there is no open investigation related to the manager named in the email. In the case of a real investigation, the EEOC will first try to mediate between the complainant and the company. See the full process here.
He noted that the email comes from a Gmail address. The EEOC is a federal agency and all official emails use the .gov domain. “We wouldn’t be sending any kind of correspondence through Gmail,” he noted.
The manufacturer has responded categorically denying the validity of the email and claims, noting:
"We take reports of inappropriate behavior very seriously, but, at this time, we know of no complaint nor issue as alleged in this hoax email. We are exploring all available options to address this, including a civil action and we have taken steps to identify the person or persons who sent it."
Whoever sent this email is playing a dangerous game. If either of the companies or the employee named in the email decided to sue for defamation, it is likely a subpoena would reveal who is behind the hoax. Moreover, it is a crime to impersonate a US federal official.
If there is any truth to the allegations, however, it is important that the victim go through the proper channels and start the process on their own.
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