Unemployment scammers are using romance scams to move money

Unemployment scammers are using romance scams to move money

In case anyone was wondering how successful the unemployment scams were working against the states, scammers are using additional scams to be able to move the stolen. Specifically, scammers are employing romance scams to launder the ill-gotten unemployment funds.

For the past few months, overseas scam rings have been applying for unemployment benefits using identities stolen in previous data breaches. It doesn’t matter if the person belonging to the identity being used is currently employed or not. Scammers are applying for benefits in en masse in hopes of getting lucky with just a handful of identities as each identity could bring them thousands of dollars.

The problem is moving the money from an unemployment debit card or unemployment check to the scammers overseas. At least one group of scammers is using another scam tactic to get unwitting people to move the money for them and that’s the romance scam.

A man in the state of Washington had recently fallen for just such a scam. He thought that he was involved romantically with someone in the country, at least online. The scammer started telling the man that they needed to deposit some money from an inheritance but their bank only allowed so much money to be deposited per day. He allowed the scammer to use his bank account where they are said to have moved thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits to a third party. His bank eventually noticed the unusual activity and returned some of the money back to the states.

Thankfully, this man isn’t facing any charges as the FBI has said this man was thoroughly duped. They even thanked him for coming forward as many scam victims never come forward. Sometimes victims are threatened by the scammers that they’ll be arrested if they come forward. Others never come forward out of embarrassment.

If you meet someone online and they start asking you for or about money before you’ve met in person, there’s a good likelihood they’re part of a romance scam.