Security breach tied to unemployment and beyond

The pandemic has overloaded the State unemployment system, and scammers have taken advantage, stealing billions of dollars in claims.

Posted: May 4, 2021 5:34 PM
Updated: May 4, 2021 5:48 PM

The New York State Department of Labor has stopped over $6.4 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic, but there’s no public report on how much New York has been ripped off. The U.S. Labor Department Inspector General's Office estimates during the pandemic more than $63 billion has been paid out through fraud or errors across the country. Anjolen Cyber Security Specialist Michelle Tuttle says before you become a victim of unemployment insurance fraud check your credit reports.

"The pandemic has led to so many instances of identity theft, so get those reports. Look at them. Make sure there’s nothing on them that someone hasn’t opened a mortgage in your name, someone hasn’t taken a home equity, someone hasn’t opened a new credit card. So you need to be diligent," said Tuttle.

There’s been so many security breaches, even the most diligent are becoming victimized.

"You may not even have done anything of your own accord to become a victim, but your information was out there, so if you think you have been a victim of the unemployment scam or any other identity theft incident, the best thing you can do is follow the steps the government is saying you should take," said Tuttle.

The government is recommending you notify the unemployment office about the fraud, notify your employer, and file an identity theft report with the Department of Justice. You’ll also want to put a fraud alert or freeze on your credit reports. This is very important because your credit is now compromised.

"You need to become even more diligent if you’ve become a victim of checking and reconciling accounts routinely, and I wouldn’t wait until you get your online statement or you get your paper statement if that’s how you reconcile. You want to be looking like weekly," said Tuttle.

If you feel your personal information has been compromised you can go to Identitytheft.gov for help.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2086836

Reported Deaths: 52989
CountyCasesDeaths
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