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

    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 While we realize that the wheels of government turn slowly, we have to wonder how outdated some of the government systems are.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 July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , unemployment scam   

    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 scam   

    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 scam   

    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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kansas, , , unemployment scam   

    Unemployment scam turns up on social media 

    Unemployment scam turns up on social media

    Previously, when we’ve discussed unemployment scams they’ve happened in one of two ways. The first way is when a scammer or identity thief has applied for benefits in your name. They do this because many state unemployment offices are currently receiving a deluge of applications due to the recent mass layoffs. The scammers are getting people’s identities from either a large data breach or from people sharing too many personal details on social media.

    The other scam involving unemployment has been scammers posing as state unemployment office employees. They’ve been calling people and telling them things like they’ve been approved for additional benefits but they have to verify their information. This is when the scammers will ask for information like Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and bank account passwords. Instead of receiving additional benefits, victims have had their bank accounts emptied and identities stolen.

    Now, the Department of labor in Kansas is reporting a twist on the second type of scam. The KDOL is issuing a warning about scammers creating fake Facebook profiles and posing as KDOL employees. They’ve been said to be messaging people offering assistance with their unemployment benefit claims. While the KDOL did not go into great detail, it’s safe to assume the scammers are asking people for their personal information as mentioned above. The State of Kansas has said that its state’s unemployment office would only email recipients from the ks.gov email address.

    As we always say, if a scam is happening in one state it can happen in all the others. If you receive one of these Facebook messages offering unemployment assistance it is more than likely a scam. Keep in mind that anyone can make a Facebook account pretending to be a state employee. Messages like this should be reported to your state’s fraud department. If you’ve fired for unemployment, the state should already have the personal information they need to issue payments and will not ask you for information like your Social Security number or bank account.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , unemployment scam   

    More states are dealing with unemployment scams 

    More states are dealing with unemployment scams

    The unemployment scams that are happening from Washington to Maine continue to take hold in more states. Both Mississippi and Minnesota are reporting that their unemployment assistance programs are being targeted by scammers looking to steal benefits.

    As we have discussed before, scammers are using stolen identities to apply for unemployment benefits in various states across the country. It doesn’t matter if you’re currently receiving unemployment benefits or you’re currently working. If your identity has been compromised scammers will use your information to try to scam benefits from the already overworked state unemployment systems. In most cases, the scammers will have the stolen benefits redirected to another address but in some cases, the scammers are said to be actually stalking the mailboxes of people whose identity they’ve used to apply for benefits.

    Besides using stolen identities that were compromised in various data breaches, scammers are also using details that they’ve harvested from social media to apply for benefits. It’s being recommended that you keep things like your birthday and your hometown private on social media.

    Many victims of the scam have voiced their concerns over their inability to reach their state’s unemployment offices. The unemployment offices have urged victims to keep trying to reach them as they are currently trying to assist as many people as they can during these trying times.

    If you’ve been a victim of this scam it’s recommended that you first contact your state’s unemployment office or your HR department if you’re currently working. On top of that, you should change your passwords for all your sensitive accounts. You should also initiate a credit freeze with the major credit bureaus so the scammers can not apply for things like credit cards or bank accounts in your name.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , unemployment scam   

    More details about unemployment scams 

    More details about unemployment scams

    Previously, when we discussed the recent unemployment scams plaguing the nation we mostly talked about how scammers were using stolen identities to apply for unemployment benefits. Now, the Federal Trade Commission has released more details not only about how the scam works but what to do in case you’re a victim.

    Overseas scammers have been overwhelming the online unemployment application systems in many states. They’re using stolen identities to apply for benefits while most states are under a mountain of applications due to the global pandemic. This makes it a perfect time for scammers to try to sneak into the system. People who are currently employed are finding out that unemployment benefits are being sought in their name.

    While the ill-gotten benefits are usually sent to one of the scammers, in some cases they’re sent to the person whose name the benefits are in. In many of these cases, the scammers are posing as the state’s unemployment office and asking for the money back. However, instead of asking for the payment to be returned through legitimate channels, they’re asking for the payment to be sent through gift cards or wire services. These are hallmarks of many scams and payment should never be sent this way to anyone claiming to be a governmental organization.

    If you receive an unemployment payment that you did not apply for, the FTC urges you to report it to your employer and your state’s unemployment office. You can also report it to the FTC themselves at IdentityTheft.Gov.

     
  • Geebo 8:01 am on May 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , unemployment scam   

    Unemployment scam not just targeting the unemployed 

    We’ve previously posted about unemployment scams in Washington and Colorado. Now it seems that these scams are becoming a nationwide problem and it’s also affecting people who are currently employed.

    Scammers have been using stolen identities to apply for unemployment benefits in several states hoping to shift the money to overseas scamming rings. This has caused delays in issuing payments to those who are currently depending on their unemployment benefits. Considering the record amount of unemployment the nation has been facing lately it’s probably been easy for scammers to slip through the cracks.

    However, it’s not just the unemployed that these scams are targeting. In many states, people who are currently employed have been notified by their employers that someone has used their identity to file for unemployment benefits. This could result in several financial headaches for the victims. Not the least of which could be getting audited by the IRS if it’s not caught in time.

    Some of the states that have been hit by this scam are Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. There have also been reports out of Pennsylvania and Maine that they’ve been targets as well.

    Even if you are currently employed, you may want to sign up for an account state’s unemployment office. Some states allow you to sign up for an account without needing unemployment benefits. If you’re currently unemployed, we recommend checking with your state‚Äôs unemployment office to make sure your payments are being sent to the correct destination.

    Also, please keep in mind that your state’s unemployment office may contact you by phone or email. However, they should not be asking for any personal identifying information. They should already have that information from when you first applied for benefits. If someone is asking for that information claiming to be from the unemployment office they could be a scammer looking to steal your identity.

    (H/T CBS)

     
  • Geebo 8:13 am on May 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , eip card, , , unemployment scam   

    Stimulus debit cards delivered in unmarked envelopes 

    Stimulus debit cards delivered in unmarked envelopes

    Last week, we posted about the stimulus debit cards that some taxpayers will receive instead of paper checks. To summarize, those taxpayers who didn’t provide the IRS with their banking information might receive one of these cards known as EIP cards instead of a paper check.

    Some taxpayers are already starting to receive their EIP cards, however, some have been suspicious of the cards since they’re being delivered in unmarked envelopes. These cards are, in fact, the legitimate EIP cards and can be used mostly like a normal debit card. So if you’re expecting your stimulus payment in the mail, don’t throw out any unmarked envelopes until you receive your card.

    The envelope will say it’s been sent by Money Network Cardholder Services while the card itself will have a VISA logo along with the name MetaBank which is the issuing bank.

    In other consumer financial news, the state of Colorado is warning residents about a scam that is targeting the unemployed. Scammers are posing as employees of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment or the Colorado Division of Unemployment Insurance. They’ll contact their victims by phone or email asking for personal information such as your Social Security number, your bank account numbers, and bank account passwords. Please keep in mind that while this is being reported in Colorado, this scam could come to any state.

    If you’ve recently applied for unemployment in your state, the unemployment office may contact you, however, they will not ask for any personal information. Most offices will already have the information they need from when you initially applied for benefits.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , unemployment scam   

    Scams targeting those trying to return to work 

    Scams targeting those trying to return to work

    With many states trying to return to normal, many people are looking to gain employment after record numbers of workers have been unemployed. Never ones to miss out on an opportunity to seize ill-gotten gains from tragedy, scammers and con artists have been increasing their scams that target job seekers.

    One particularly disturbing scam is targeting the unemployed in at least one state. In Washington, scammers are using stolen identities to try to collect unemployment benefits. This takes much needed financial relief out of the hands of the people that need them and put them potentially into the hands of overseas scammers. It is recommended to check with your state’s unemployment office to make sure your payments are being sent to the correct destination. In some states, you can even sign up for an account through the state without even needing unemployment benefits.

    Of course, scammers have also been trying to fool job seekers with legitimate-looking positions. One man looking for employment posted his resume to a number of job boards like Indeed and Monster hoping to find a position that would take advantage of the years of his experience. Instead, he received a job offer that just tried to take advantage of him. He received a job offer from a company that he had not even applied to. Everything about the position looked legitimate so he accepted the position. However, the ‘company’ sent the man his payment by a check that was over the amount he was supposed to be paid. They told him to deposit the check and return the difference to them. Thankfully, the man was familiar with the phony check scheme and did not deposit the check. But he was devastated that this was not a legitimate job.

    Lastly, old employment scams are finding new victims after so many have been unemployed for the past few months. One of those scams is the car wrap scam. In it, the scammer will promise you so much money a week to display advertising on your car. More often than not, these offers are scams. One woman in California accepted one of these positions and once again, she was sent a check that was more than she was supposed to receive. She was also aware of the phony check scam and did not deposit the check.

    While these may be lean times, always do your due diligence when looking for a job. If you are offered a position, always research the company that’s offering you the job. Sometimes, something as simple as checking their address on Google Maps can reveal their true intentions.

     
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