(WWJ) A new scam involving a bogus email aims to steal unemployed Michiganders’ personal information.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Wednesday issued an “urgent alert” advising residents about a current scam taking advantage of claimants who are collecting unemployment benefits.
Here’s how it works: A person who has applied for unemployment receives an email from a Gmail account that appears to be from the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), asking for personal information. The email even includes what looks like an actual communication from the UIA in an apparent effort to make it seem more credible.
Any info provided then goes to the scammers, who can use it for identity theft or other nefarious purposes.
“There is no government agency, state or federal, that uses Gmail for official purposes,” Nessel said, noting the scammer’s email address. “Michigan residents should always examine the full email address if the sender is requesting their personal information.”
If you received this email, do not respond.
The AG says UIA would never ask you to reply to an email with your personal information. Responses to ID verification requests from UIA should only be uploaded through your secure Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) account online at the UIA’s website, where you can also learn more about protecting yourself from identity theft.
Anyone who has fallen for this scam should immediately Report Fraud or Identity Theft with the UIA. They should also monitor their banking and account information each time they certify for benefits.
“Bad actors are increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to deceive people into giving away personal information,” said Nessel. “This is one of the cruelest scams I’ve ever seen because it targets vulnerable residents who are desperate to receive their UIA benefits – so desperate that they may not inspect the email address to confirm its validity.”