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

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, Paycheck Protection Program, , unemployment scam,   

    New scams targeting small businesses and the unemployed 

    New scams targeting small businesses and the unemployed

    It’s not just the coronavirus relief checks that scammers are targeting. They’re leaving no stone unturned when it comes to finding new victims and they’re targeting some of the most vulnerable people among us during these uncertain economic times.

    In Maine, U.S. Senator Susan Collins is warning her constituents about a scam that is targeting small business owners. Many small businesses are seeking relief through the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act. The Act was passed in order to help small businesses keep paying their employees during the current crisis. Scammers have been approaching small businesses telling them that they need to pay a fee in order to apply for a paycheck protection loan. That is incorrect. There is no cost to apply for the program. You can find more information about the Paycheck Protection Program at the website for the US Small Business Administration.

    Speaking of employees, the Better Business Bureau is warning that scammers are also targeting the unemployed. Many scammers are setting up phony websites designed to fool victims into thinking they’re applying for unemployment. In reality, the victims are just handing over their personal and financial information. The BBB recommends always looking for the green lock icon in your browser’s address bar to make sure you’re using a secure site. Also, most state government websites in the US end in .gov or .org.

    Lastly, we’ve seen more reports of scammers posing as utility companies threatening to shut off service. Most utility companies will not call you to tell you that service is being terminated. You should receive a warning in the mail before the service is terminated. Many utility companies across the country have suspended service terminations during the current crisis. If you have a concern about your service being terminated, call your utility company directly.

     
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