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  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , West Virginia,   

    Disadvantaged state taken advantage of by scam 

    Disadvantaged state taken advantage of by scam

    By Greg Collier

    West Virginia is a state that’s been dealing with an unemployment problem since long before the pandemic. Some of its residents could be forgiven for falling prey to a scam that promises not only easy money but a work from home position as well. When someone is desperate enough for a paycheck, they’re more likely to overlook red flags that they may otherwise notice.

    The Better Business Bureau of West Virginia has received several complaints about a company that was allegedly hiring people for a work from home reshipping position. Applicants received items in the mail and were told to take pictures if the items before shipping them off to another address. The employees were told to log into the company’s dashboard to print off the new shipping labels. People received and reshipped things from antique coins to fully assembled computers.

    After about a month went by the employees were locked out of the dashboard and the company cut off all communication with them. None of the people who complained to the BBB were ever paid.

    We’re confident that many of you have already figured out that these people have unfortunately been the victims of the reshipping or repackaging scam. These positions are often advertised online with such titles as ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse distribution coordinator, or ‘local hub inspector’. The goods that are reshipped are usually bought with stolen credit card information while the scam victims are used as middlemen to ship the goods to third-parties overseas. This is done in an attempt to obfuscate the package’s real destination.

    These victims are little luckier than most. In many cases, the scammers will pay their victims in fraudulent checks which end up costing the victim money. The only thing stolen from these victims so far has been their time. However, there is also a potential for identity theft as the victims also filled out tax forms to the phony employer.

    The reshipping scam is especially dangerous to the victim because it could cause them trouble with the law. Even if you’re a victim of the scam, but you knowingly addressed a package to avoid customs inspections you could find yourself in hot water.

    As with any employment position, it’s worth researching your potential employer as this one used the address of a vacant warehouse in West Virginia.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , West Virginia   

    Unemployment scams continue to plague states 

    Unemployment scams continue to plague states

    We’ve been keeping our readers informed of the various unemployment scams for months now. One might assume that the states may have put a stop to these scams by now but that assumption would be incorrect. As we’re about to show, many states are still having trouble putting a stop to the abuse of their unemployment benefits.

    West Virginia has had over 50,000 of its residents receive unemployment benefit debit cards that they did not apply for. This isn’t just abusing the West Virginia system as many of these claims were filed out of state. For example, one woman who lives in Morganton received a debit card for unemployment benefits that was issued out of Colorado. This could be particularly difficult for West Virginia residents as their unemployment rate is above that of the national average. These scams could be taking away benefits from the people who may need it most.

    The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued a warning to residents about a nationwide email scam that is targeting the unemployed. The email states that there is a problem with an applicant’s claim. The applicant is then directed to click a link that takes them to a malicious website where they’ll be asked for their personal information. The TDLWD is reminding applicants that any email from them will come from a tn.gov address which could also be applicable in many other states. The address will come from whatever the state’s website is. Most states use the two-letter state abbreviation followed by .gov but there are a few exceptions.

    Arizona is another example of where scammers are filing for benefits in other people’s names. The scammers get this information from previous data breaches where personal information has been exposed. They then file for unemployment benefits using this stolen information. The scammers attempt to change the address or banking information to steal the benefits but when they can’t, the benefits get delivered to the victim’s possession. One woman had filed for unemployment in Arizona where she lives on May 10th. Scammers then applied for benefits in her name in Michigan two weeks later. Arizona is said to be investigating one million cases of fraudulent unemployment activity.

    Considering that the nation is seeing a rise in coronavirus cases and more states are issuing new lockdown orders we could be seeing even more unemployment in the foreseeable future. This will give more scammers even more opportunities to scam each of the 50 states.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , 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.

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