Inside the life of an unemployment scammer

Inside the life of an unemployment scammer

We’ve been discussing the current spate of unemployment scams for quite some time now. In case this is the first time you’re hearing of it, the unemployment systems in all 50 states have been assailed by both foreign and domestic scammers. The scammers use stolen identities to apply for fraudulent unemployment benefits. The state systems have been overwhelmed. Not only have they issued billions in fraudulent benefits, but they’ve also had little to no success in recouping the money.

Recently, USA Today published an expose where they spoke with one of these scammers. It might surprise you how easy it is for these scammers to file for fraudulent benefits.

The scammer that USA Today spoke with said that it only costs $2 to purchase a stolen identity online. That gets them a name, a date of birth, and a Social Security number. In most states, that’s all they need to file a fraudulent claim. If the state requires more information like a maiden name, the scammer can usually find that information publicly online. The scammer claims that they’re able to successfully file for benefits one out of 6 attempts. So far the scammer claims they’ve made $50,000 in 2020 alone. When asked if they have any remorse the scammer says their victims are nobody to them.

The reason that the unemployment scammers have been so successful is that the state unemployment systems are not designed to catch these kinds of fraudulent claims. Instead, they’re designed to catch regular people who are lying in their applications. So far, the states have been very slow in reacting to these new scams and that has hurt legitimate unemployment recipients in the process. Some recipients have even been cut off by their state while the scammer collects their money. Even if you discover the fraud and report it to the state, it may take them a while before they can even react. Meanwhile, the scammers are collecting money hand over fist.

We don’t know what the states need to do to turn back the tide of scammers, but the longer they take to act, the more money ends up in the pockets of scammers. Meanwhile, American citizens go hungry while the states try to figure this out.