The FBI is warning Americans to be careful about where and with whom they share private information after residents of multiple states had unemployment claims filed under their names, authorities said.
Federal investigators said Americans in several states have had their information stolen in a variety of ways — cold-calling victims while using impersonation scams, email phishing schemes, physical theft of data from individuals or third parties, and from public websites and social media accounts, among other methods, according to an FBI news release.
Many people don’t realize their identity has been stolen until they try to file an unemployment claim, or are notified by the government or current employer, the news release said.
Cumberland County has seen a huge increase in unemployment fraud recently, the county’s Department of Public Safety wrote on Facebook.
The FBI said any of the following actions are considered suspicious:
- Receiving communications regarding unemployment insurance forms when you have not applied for unemployment benefits
- Unauthorized transactions on your bank or credit card statements related to unemployment benefits
- Any fees involved in filing or qualifying for unemployment insurance
- Unsolicited inquiries related to unemployment benefits
- Fictitious websites and social media pages mimicking those of government agencies
Americans should be skeptical of any digital requests for personal information, the FBI said. Bank accounts should be frequently monitored and any unauthorized transactions immediately reported to banks and/or credit card providers.
Anyone who believes they’ve fallen victim to an unemployment scheme should report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Reports should also be filed with the IRS through an Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS Form 14039), which is accessible at irs.gov or identitytheft.gov.
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Source: on 2021-07-09 09:07:30
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