COVID-19 Benefits Phish: New Mexico Department of Labor

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By Noah Mizell and Schyler Gallant, Cofense Phishing Defense Center

During the COVID-19 pandemic there have been many phishing lures promising payouts or benefits to gain credentials to websites. An example of this threat is a phish being used to collect on benefits by impersonating the New Mexico Department of Labor. The Cofense Phishing Defense Center (PDC) has observed a phishing campaign that aims to harvest New Mexico Department of Labor credentials by preying on individuals wanting to see if they are eligible for COVID-19 benefits.

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Figure 1: Email Body

While the email appears to come from the New Mexico Department of Labor, the email address is for the domain showingassistant[.]com, seen in Figure 1. Looking at the email body, the email states that in New Mexico extra benefits can be paid out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To determine if a person is eligible and, if so, how much they may receive, they are obliged to fill out an online form to be notified via letter that’s followed by a debit card in the coming weeks. The email includes a link to the form and opt-in updates from the New Mexico Department of Labor. This is probably done to boost legitimacy. As seen in Figure 1, the links do not lead to a legitimate location.

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Figure 2: Phishing Page

After clicking on the link from the email, Figure 2 shows the phishing landing page. It appears to the user as if they are on the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions login page. When researching the legitimate page, there are some similarities, but this spoofed page is missing some information. This page includes the username and password fields, along with a checkbox to acknowledge they have read and agreed to the terms of use before clicking on the login button.

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