FBI Reports Spike in Fraudulent COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Claims

Never ones to idly stand by while pain, suffering, fear and desperation abound, Cyber criminals have pounced on the opportunites created by COVID-19.

And sure enough, the FBI has reported a spike in fraudulent Unemployment Insurance claims since the onset of the Coronavirus.

Cyber criminals have exploited the pandemic using their complete toolbox of cyber crime scams, from phishing emails to snail mail letters to phone calls to impersonated and hijacked web sites to Dark Web purchases of the personally identifiable information required to fill out the UI claim forms.

Victims whose PII has been used in UI fraud don’t know until they apply for their own UI benefits and learn that a claim has already been applied for in their name.

The effect on a small business could be an increase in its unemployment insurance tax when its employees’ PII is used to file fraudulent claims.

Employees should be made aware of this scam but also receive security awareness training to spot all forms of scams in general, such as social engineering schemes including phishing emails and fraudulent web sites that are typically used in other types of opportunistic frauds like traumatic man-made or natural events.

More information about this scam can be found on the FBI’s web site.

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