Beware! Unemployment benefits scams are out to steal money in your name!
If you were hoping to get some financial relief, unemployment benefits scams may have beaten you to it.
Using a variety of schemes and tricks, several unemployment check scams have been making the rounds. In fact, they may have already applied for unemployment in your name, using your personal information. And they may have even been collecting unemployment income for weeks now.
That’s because bold fraudsters are now stealing from the government, tax payers and you. They are using all kinds of new schemes to get the unemployment payments deposited into bank accounts that they have set up and control. Using the identification of people who aren’t even aware what’s going on.
And who knows what else they might have done with your stolen identity?
That’s why you should probably action steps immediately…especially if you’re not receiving unemployment benefits right now.
How to stop unemployment check scams:
- Block the scammer.
You may want to take initial steps of applying for unemployment benefits, but not making an actual claim (unless you indeed qualify). That step at least gets your name, Social Security number and email in the system. This will prevent an imposter from applying for and collecting unemployment benefits from your State unemployment agency in your name. You will only receive benefits if you make a claim.
- Surprise money!
You might get a check in the mail or money suddenly deposited into a previously linked account. But only because a scammer applied for benefits. A scammer may contact you pretending to be the government agency, and telling you to wire money. Don’t do it! They are surely the imposters or a “money mule” working for the scammers!
If you get unemployment benefit checks you never applied for, report it via email to your state agency immediately. They’ll want to be aware of the attempted fraud. However, be aware that a government agency may contact you by email. That means, you’ll have to keep your eyes open and be alert.
Blame the scammers…and Covid-19.
Cybercriminals never miss an opportunity to steal from people, or take advantage of a situation to commit fraud.
That’s what’s happening right now with the coronavirus pandemic. People who are laid off or out of work, and skyrocketing unemployment benefit claims in every State across the U.S. (Plus all the chaos the pandemic has caused.)
Imposters are filing for unemployment benefits by the thousands, using the names and information of others. These are decent Americans who aren’t aware that scammers have stolen their identity and are collecting government money in their name.
The scammers are “being helped” by the relaxed rules during tough times. Add to that, the overwhelming influx of millions or workers affected by the pandemic and its effect on the economy.
State government agencies are trying their best to catch fraudulent claims, but with all the applications flooding the agencies, millions of dollars have been paid out to scammers. The State of Washington says it has lost hundreds of millions of dollars to unemployment fraud. The Federal Trade Commission, the Secret Service and state government agencies are well aware of the large-scale fraud that’s taking place.
Action steps for victims of unemployment benefits scams.
You should take these steps immediately if you find that you’re a victim of an unemployment benefits scam:
- Report the fraud to your employer. The fraud affects their business also.
- Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who also provide information on taking steps to protect yourself. Visit IdentityTheft.gov.
- Check your credit status with free credit reports. For the immediate future, you can check your reports every week for free through AnnualCreditReport.com.
This can help you spot any new scams or fraud quickly. You may also want to consider freezing your credit to prevent fraudsters from applying for loans in your name.
There’s one more VITAL step you need to take to limit the chance of fraudsters.
Use our free Data Breach Check tool.
Every day there are hundreds of data breaches taking place with businesses and organization of all types. In some cases, a hacker can steal millions of consumer records, which could include names, home addresses, Social Security numbers and more.
You can read all about data breaches here on WhatIsMyIPAddress.com and use our free Data Breach Check tool.
If you have an account with an organization that’s suffered a data breach attack, it means your personal data could be floating around the internet, even posted on hacker databases for cybercriminals to try to exploit.
Use our free Data Breach Check tool right now to see if you have an account with an organization that’s been the victim of a data breach.
It’s free, fast, and eye opening!
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