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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , unemployment benefits,   

    Unemployment scam could send strangers to your door 

    Unemployment scam could send strangers to your door

    The current spate of unemployment scams have been going on just as long as the pandemic has been in effect. Overseas scammers have been flooding state unemployment systems with bogus requests for unemployment benefits. In several cases, scammers have applied for benefits using the names of people who are still working. The scammers will often change the addresses used for these benefits so they can intercept them before the victim finds out. However, that may change as more people become aware of the scam.

    According to reports out of California, people are receiving unemployment checks at their home addresses for people who don’t live at that address. One report even indicates that one woman received nine checks at her home for four different people that don’t live there.

    This could mean that scammers have designated her home as a drop site for their fraudulent unemployment checks. In turn, this could result in a couple of things happening. The scammers may have someone watching her mailbox hoping they can get a hold of the checks before the resident takes them inside. The scammers could also have someone approach the home posing as a state employee looking to ‘take back’ the erroneously issued checks.

    The question with this scam always seems to be what do you do if you received a fraudulently issued check. If the check is issued in your name you should contact your state’s unemployment office. While it can be a time-consuming process to reach someone at the state, it will be well worth your while, in the long run, to make sure the state is aware of this issue. This will help you avoid potential tax issues in the future.

    If the check is not in your name, some news outlets are stating that you should mark the envelope ‘return to sender’. While this is a good idea, you may want to drop off the envelopes at your local post office rather than leaving them in your mailbox. As we’ve said, scammers have no reservations about going through your mailbox to find what they need. If you take these envelopes to the post office, you’ll be helping to keep the fraudulent checks out of the hands of scammers.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , unemployment benefits,   

    New twist on unemployment debit card scam 

    New twist on unemployment debit card scam

    As you may know, every state in the country has been assailed by overseas scammers looking to cash in on unemployment benefits. Due to the record amount of Americans who are currently unemployed, the scammers are overwhelming state unemployment systems by applying for benefits in other people’s names in hopes of making off with that money. To that extent, scammers will also apply for benefits in the names of people who are currently employed. The scam is far from perfect and many people have caught the scam being perpetrated on them before the scammers could get the money. Usually, the scammers would keep their scam within one state at a time. That now seems to be changing.

    A report out of the State of Washington says that a couple there received two unemployment debit cards in the mail. Not only are the couple employed but the cards were issued from the state of Colorado. Neither of them had ever worked or lived in Colorado. The belief here is that since the cards are from out of state, a scammer could call them pretending to be from that state’s unemployment department and then ask for the cards back. The scammer could instruct them to send the cards to an address where the scammers could claim the cards and use the benefits themselves.

    However, some states are already fighting back against the scammers. As we mentioned previously, West Virginia has a system in place to try to prevent fraud. Now, the Colorado cards that were sent to the Washington couple had instructions to follow if they received the cards but did not apply for unemployment.

    If you receive a card like this and you have not filed for unemployment or they’re from a state that you never lived or worked, try contacting the issuing bank to see what they would like to have you do.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , unemployment benefits, , West Virginia   

    How one state is trying to stop unemployment scammers 

    How one state is trying to stop unemployment scammers

    Like most states, West Virginia has also been dealing with a record number of unemployment scammers. The scammers have been using stolen identities gained in data breaches to apply for unemployment in benefits in the various states. This scam has been affecting all 50 states and the scammers are even applying for benefits in the names of people who are currently employed. In some cases, scammers have been able to change the address to where the payments are sent to.

    West Virginia says that over 100,000 people have applied for unemployment benefits but they believe half of those applicants to be scammers. However, The Mountain State seems to have a process in place to try to prevent the scammers from claiming the money.

    The acting commissioner of Workforce West Virginia has stated that even though debit cards are sent out to applicants, there is no money on them to start. In order for someone to receive payment on their debit card, the state needs to contact the recipient to verify their identity. So even if a scammer was able to get the debit card delivered to them, there are steps in place to try to prevent the scammers from stealing your unemployment benefits.

    If you live in West Virginia and have received a debit card from the state but have not applied for unemployment, you’re asked to report the fraud at Workforce West Virginia’s website. You can then go ahead and destroy the debit card. If you live outside of West Virginia and have received unemployment benefits you did not apply for, we recommend going to your state’s unemployment website to see if they have the capability to report the fraud. You should be able to find it by doing a web search with the name of your state along with the phrase ‘unemployment fraud’.

    Another step we recommend you take if you’ve received fraudulent benefits is to contact a credit bureau to have your credit put on a one-year fraud alert. You should also periodically review your credit report because if you’ve received fraudulent benefits it means your identity has been stolen.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: unemployment benefits   

    When should you expect the extra $300 unemployment? 

    When should you expect the extra $300 unemployment?

    As some of you may know, an executive order was signed recently authorizing a $300 per week federal unemployment benefit. However, not every state will start issuing these payments at the same time. For example, Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri and Utah have all been approved for the additional assistance. Meanwhile, South Dakota has declined the additional assistance claiming that the majority of job losses have been recouped.

    Unfortunately, even the states that have been approved won’t be immediately issuing the additional payment. Arizona has stated that they will be sending out the payments this week while many other states may take weeks or even months due to changes that need to be made to their unemployment system. That’s not even taking into consideration the states that haven’t applied to the federal government for the additional assistance. Those states have until September 10th to request for the assistance. Many states have said that the payments will be retroactive once their systems are in place.

    The assistance itself is said to last up until December 27th or $44 billion in payments, whichever comes first. That could change if legislation is written that would offer better assistance relief to unemployment recipients.

    Even if your state has applied for the new benefit, if your weekly unemployment benefit is less than $100, you will not qualify for the additional payment.

    Hopefully, this information helps and you can plan accordingly.

    We’d also like to mention that due to the potential confusion over the executive order, scammers may try to take advantage of this confusion like they did with the economic impact payment. Not to mention that you should also keep an eye out for unemployment scams and job scams.

    (H/T Forbes)

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: unemployment benefits   

    What you need to know about the new Federal unemployment benefit 

    What you need to know about the new Federal unemployment benefit

    Recently, President Trump issued an executive order offering a new Federal unemployment benefit since Congress couldn’t come to terms on a new deal. Previously, unemployment recipients were receiving an additional $600 in their unemployment benefits until that assistance expired. The President’s order is claiming to offer a $400 benefit to unemployment recipients, however, there are several hoops that need to be jumped through and not everyone may qualify for the assistance.

    As of the time of this post, there has been no definitive date given as to when the new benefits will start. On top of that, the order requires that the individual states supply $100 of the $400. Before that even begins, the state’s need to formally request the assistance from the Federal Government before the states can even start issuing these additional payments.

    Another issue is that the President has said that states have the additional money to give out these benefits from their pandemic relief funds. The President’s exact words were “The states have the money. It’s sitting there.” Except, a number of states have said that these funds have already been allocated to other resources. Even wealthier states like New Jersey and California have said that the President’s order is currently unfeasible. The states even have the option to make their $100 as a normal part of your benefits meaning you may only get an additional $300 instead of $400.

    Lastly, if you’re unemployment benefits are less than $100 a week, you wouldn’t be eligible for the additional benefits unless your state stepped in.

    Hopefully, this information helps and you can plan accordingly.

    We’d also like to mention that due to this confusion over the executive order, scammers may try to take advantage of this confusion like they did with the economic impact payment. Not to mention that you should also keep an eye out for unemployment scams and job scams.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , unemployment benefits,   

    Scammers file for unemployment in Governor’s name 

    Scammers file for unemployment in Governor's name

    Unemployment recipients are receiving a virtual beating right now. If it’s not the additional $600 Federal benefit expiring, it’s the scammers. If you haven’t seen the news, overseas scammers are assailing the unemployment benefits systems of all 50 states. Due to the record number of people applying for unemployment because of the global pandemic, scammers are slipping in through the cracks and applying for benefits under stolen identities. They’ve even applied for benefits under the names of people who are currently employed. This has caused delays for many legitimate unemployment recipients who are currently living hand to mouth.

    It’s gotten so bad in Arkansas that scammers applied for benefits in the Governor’s name and had them approved. In Arkansas, 27,000 unemployment applications are on hold because of how frequent scammers are applying for benefits. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the state unemployment office has hired additional staff to help detect scam applications. It makes us ask, what is broken in the state unemployment systems that allow scammers to collect benefits under the names of people who are currently employed? While we realize that the wheels of government turn slowly, we have to wonder how outdated some of the government systems are. That’s not even taking into account people who may have been incorrectly denied for benefits. Who knows how many millions of dollars in benefits have been lost to scammers.

    If you should be receiving unemployment payments but you’re not, check with your state’s unemployment website to make sure they have your correct banking information or address depending on how you receive your payment. If you’re employed and have received unemployment benefits or received a letter that you’ve been approved for benefits, tell everyone. Notify your employer if they haven’t notified you and notify your state’s Department of Labor or regional equivalent. It may take some time and patience to reach someone but it’s important to notify your state right away. Please, do not let it go too long. And whatever you do, don’t spend any of the benefits you may receive as that is considered fraud and could land you in legal trouble.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , unemployment benefits   

    $600 Federal unemployment benefit has expired 

    $600 Federal unemployment benefit has expired

    If you’re currently collecting unemployment benefits, you might discover that your next payment could be smaller than it has been. As of this past Friday, July 31, 2020, the Federal unemployment benefit of $600 per week has expired. The Senate had been working on extending these benefits but decided to allow the benefits to expire before approving any extension. This will leave approximately 30 million Americans who are currently collecting unemployment benefits to struggle even more to try to make ends meet. As of the time of this posting, there is no definitive time table as to when the benefits could be extended.

    Unfortunately, we can’t offer any advice on to make up for that $600 loss outside of maybe putting some of your clutter up for sale on Geebo.com. You never know who may want to pay you for that thing you’ve been looking to get out of your home. Ad listings are free. However, we can offer advice on how to keep the money you already have.

    This is going to be a perfect time for scammers to strike. With so many people desperate to find work or a place to live, it’s almost a guarantee that scammers will be looking for new victims.

    When it comes to job scams, be leery of any offer that sounds too good to be true. Avoid depositing any checks that phony employers will say is for supplies or equipment. Avoid any positions for secret shoppers or repackaging positions that are disguised with titles like ‘shipping coordinator’ or ‘warehouse redistribution coordinator’.

    Where housing is concerned, once again, it’s best to avoid any listing that sounds too good to be true. If the rent is significantly lower than the average market price, it’s probably best to avoid that listing. If a landlord refuses to show you the property for any reason including social distancing, it’s more than likely a scam. If the supposed landlord asks for payment in something unusual like gift cards, wire service, or cryptocurrency that will probably be a scam listing.

    I’m sure all of us are either affected by the current economic situation or know someone who is. If you’re in a position to, maybe reach out and offer to help someone you know. It doesn’t have to be financial assistance necessarily. Sometimes just the offer of a helping hand can be enough.

    • We need to stop playing politics 2:10 pm on August 3, 2020 Permalink

      I am out of work due to corona I work for the school district don’t know if I am going back next month or if I will be on the unemployment line my wages will stop and I will probably have to go on unemployment my wages are low so if I do go on unemployment I will be making less than I brought home from my job which was 30 hours a week my bring home pay for two weeks is $495 no one gave me any help and if I go on employment sure if I’m gonna get up then either just saying $600 extra week is more than I bring home Although people making much more than that for six months got $600 extra a week what about the people that are just now applying for unemployment shouldn’t they be entitled to an extra $600 for the first six months of unemployment we’re talking about being fair to all Americans I would love to have an answerWe need to stop playing politics and start taking care of the people that are putting you in your not making matters any easier for people that in homes I may lose their jobs after the $600 a month is over how fair is that

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , unemployment benefits,   

    Unemployment scams now targeting seniors 

    Unemployment scams now targeting seniors

    Unemployment scams continue to plague the country. Overseas scammers are said to be applying for unemployment benefits en masse using stolen identities. Unemployment systems in most states are already stretched to their limits in dealing with record unemployment claims. With scammers claiming benefits for people who are still employed, it isn’t making things any better. Now it seems that the scammers aren’t satisfied with taking advantage of the employed and unemployed alike and have chosen new targets.

    Recently, the Chicago area has been hit particularly hard by this scam. Reports say that a host of people have been receiving unemployment benefit debit cards in the mail when they haven’t applied for any benefits. In many cases, scammers are trying to have the payments sent to a different address than the person whose identity they’ve stolen but they aren’t always successful.

    Seniors and retirees are now feeling the brunt of these scams. A retired couple in the Chicago area recently received an unemployment debit card with $10,000 worth of benefits on it. To make matters worse, victims of the scam have been having great difficulty in trying to contact their state’s unemployment department to report the scam. It’s gotten so bad in Chicago that an Illinois State Senator had to step in to try to assist senior victims of the scam with getting in touch with the state.

    While the Illinois Department of Employment Security has said they’re cracking down on the fraud along with federal agencies, the scam only appears to be increasing. You may have had benefits applied for in your name without you even knowing about it. It’s recommended that you check your credit report for suspicious activity. Also, if you receive an unemployment debit card that you have not applied for, do not activate it. It should also go without saying that the money should not be spent as you will be held responsible for it. Instead, contact your state’s department of labor on the phone for instructions on how to deal with the scam.

    Please be patient when trying to contact the state as they’re more than likely understaffed and trying to assist other victims of the scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , unemployment benefits,   

    Unemployment scams show no sign of letting up 

    Unemployment scams show no sign of letting up

    In case you haven’t heard by now, states all over the country are dealing with scammers trying to claim unemployment benefits. We’re not talking about people who falsely try to claim unemployment for themselves. We’re talking about a global scamming operation that is looking to claim unemployment money in your name.

    The scammers are taking stolen identities that were exposed in data breaches and are using them to apply for benefits in those identities’ names. Most state unemployment systems are already under heavy load due to the record amounts of unemployment that is currently happening due to the pandemic. This makes it easier for scammers to force their way into the system to try to steal your benefits.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re unemployed or not. Most reports we’ve been seeing say that the unemployment benefits are being applied in the name of employed people as well as the unemployed. Recently, a teacher from upstate New York got a letter in the mail saying that his unemployment benefits have been approved but he’s not unemployed. His letter from the state also said that the benefits would not be deposited into a bank account but would instead be put on a debit card. In some cases, there have been reports saying scammers, or those working for them, will stalk someone’s mailbox looking to steal the debit card directly from the mailbox. In other cases, scammers have changed the address to where the debit card should be sent. The teacher believes that scammers got his information from when his health insurance company had a data breach a few years ago.

    If you receive one of these letters or you’re contacted by your employer, contact your state’s unemployment office immediately. Usually, they’re under the umbrella of the Depart of Labor in your state. Unfortunately, it may take multiple attempts to get through to your state government. The teacher from New York had to make over 200 phone calls before he got his situation resolved. While it may be frustrating, it’s not something you just want to leave for another day as it could impact not only future benefits but your current tax situation as well.

  • Geebo 8:01 am on June 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , unemployment benefits,   

    Unemployment scams continue on social media 

    Unemployment scams continue on social media

    Last week, we posted about how unemployment scams have spread to social media. In that post, we discussed how scammers were posing as government officials so they could steal personal information under the guise of assisting people with their unemployment claims. More recently, we’ve heard of a similar unemployment scam that tries to steal more than that.

    A man in New Jersey recently reported an unemployment scam to the state’s Department of labor. He says that he found a Facebook page of someone pretending to be a DOL employee. The man’s unemployment recently stopped and was looking for assistance on his claim. The scammer had a phone posted on his Facebook page so the NJ man decided to text the scammer.

    The scammer claimed to work for the ‘unemployment fund’ and asked the man for a lot of identifying information including name, address, date of birth, gender, and his unemployment claims number. The scammer then said the man would receive a six-digit code through text and once he received that he should give it to the scammer to set up a vague ‘confirmation code’.

    Thankfully, the New Jersey man realized that the text message was the verification code to reset his Facebook password. The scammer then asked the man if he received his unemployment benefits through a debit card or direct deposit. The scammer then said the man would have to pay $100 to start receiving his benefits again and that the man could make the payment with either eBay or Steam gift cards. Steam is a popular online gaming storefront.

    When the man told the scammer he didn’t have any money the scammer tried to pressure the man into making some kind of payment as quickly as possible. While this man escaped without being taken, not everyone who has encountered this scam has been so lucky.

    The reason the scammer probably wanted to steal the man’s Facebook account was so the scammer could pose as the man and send whatever scam messages he could to the man’s friends. Not only are the gift cards a dead giveaway for a scam but no state government is going to ask you for money to fix your unemployment claim.

    Please keep in mind, anyone can make a fake social media account claiming to be anyone they want. If you come across a phony social media account like this one, it is recommended that you contact your state’s fraud department. You may know it’s a scam but other people may not. You can be the difference it that person’s life that keeps them from losing what little money they may have.

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