"Driven by the economic downturn brought on by pandemic related restrictions, unemployment across the U.S. is at a historic high. While national and local averages slowly decline across the country, unemployment fraud is on the rise.
For many the unemployment benefit is a lifeline. Unfortunately, for some bad actors it is an opportunity. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), unemployment fraud is up significantly and there is suspicion that the culprits are based overseas. Officials say the fraud is affecting tens of thousands of Americans, slowing the delivery of benefits to those in need, and costing states hundreds of millions of dollars.
Whether you have lost your job, or not, you could be a victim of identity theft related to this unemployment scam. Authorities report that criminals are filing for unemployment benefits online using stolen information of people who have not lost their jobs. Stolen identities can be bought online, or obtained from data breaches, email phishing schemes, or from physical theft. Fraudsters also exploit public websites and social media accounts. Many victims are unaware of the identity theft unless they are notified by a state agency, the IRS, or their employer that a claim has been filed in their name."
Continue reading the article online http://blog.mass.gov/consumer/massconsumer/fraud-alert-unemployment-benefits-id-theft/
The Federal Trade Commission has a similar article https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/06/unemployment-benefits-fraud-puts-workers-risk-more-id-theft