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Unemployment fraud scheme against Hogan, top officials uncovered

Officials uncovered an unemployment insurance fraud scheme targeting high-ranking Maryland state government officials, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.In addition to Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson and several other cabinet members were also targeted. One cybersecurity expert calls the scheme brazen.The 11 News I-Team has confirmed that Social Security numbers and other personal identifiable information were stolen from Hogan and several top administration officials in a scheme to fraudulently collect unemployment insurance. “The vast majority of claims we have flagged have been confirmed as fraudulent, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars,” Hogan said in a statement. “This is another example of how this kind of fraud can happen to anyone, and we need to remain vigilant.”“You never know with a politician whether or not a political advisory is doing something in order to tarnish their name or if there was some other motive behind this. It is a pretty silly thing that identity fraud was committed with the name of the governor and yet, that’s the crazy world we are living in right now,” said Avi Rubin, technical director of JHU Information Security Institute.Cybersecurity experts say there is a black market for personal information about citizens. They warn Social Security numbers are easy to get when you know where to look.“Once your identity is stolen it is very hard to put the genie back into the bottle and to recover from that,” Rubin said.Experts advise there are a number of steps you should take if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft. The tips include:Contacting the police.Filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission.Freeze your credit.Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.Sign up for a credit monitoring service.Back in July, Hogan announced that the state uncovered a massive and sophisticated criminal enterprise involving 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims totaling some $501 million. It is not clear whether this latest scheme targeting the governor and others in his administration is linked to that crime.“Stealing the identity of the governor is probably not your best move,” Rubin said.Upon detection, the fraudulent claims filed using stolen identities were immediately blocked. A comprehensive investigation is underway in coordination with the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General.The Maryland Department of Labor is running weekly queries to cross-check all claimants filing and reporting state of Maryland as their last employer. This follows another fraud scheme uncovered on Election Day.”This latest fraud scheme only reinforces the need to maintain the heightened security measures in place to protect Marylanders and the integrity of the state’s program,” Robinson said in a statement. “We are working closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure that all of these criminals are brought to justice.” The DOL continues to investigate potentially fraudulent in-state and out-of-state claims. With more than 85.1% of claims confirmed as fraudulent, it is critical that the department reviews and verifies documentation manually, officials said in a statement.Of the 115,356 out-of-state claims that have been identified as being potentially fraudulent, 105,738 (91.7%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.Of the 98,769 in-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 76,388 (77.3%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.There are currently 1,823 (0.8%) in-state and out-of-state potentially fraudulent claims pending manual review and verification by a team of specialists.From March 9 to Nov. 28, the state’s Division of Unemployment Insurance paid a total of $8,224,675,615 in state and federal unemployment insurance benefits to claimants.If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance by emailing [email protected]

Officials uncovered an unemployment insurance fraud scheme targeting high-ranking Maryland state government officials, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.

In addition to Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson and several other cabinet members were also targeted. One cybersecurity expert calls the scheme brazen.

The 11 News I-Team has confirmed that Social Security numbers and other personal identifiable information were stolen from Hogan and several top administration officials in a scheme to fraudulently collect unemployment insurance.

“The vast majority of claims we have flagged have been confirmed as fraudulent, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars,” Hogan said in a statement. “This is another example of how this kind of fraud can happen to anyone, and we need to remain vigilant.”

“You never know with a politician whether or not a political advisory is doing something in order to tarnish their name or if there was some other motive behind this. It is a pretty silly thing that identity fraud was committed with the name of the governor and yet, that’s the crazy world we are living in right now,” said Avi Rubin, technical director of JHU Information Security Institute.

Cybersecurity experts say there is a black market for personal information about citizens. They warn Social Security numbers are easy to get when you know where to look.

“Once your identity is stolen it is very hard to put the genie back into the bottle and to recover from that,” Rubin said.

Experts advise there are a number of steps you should take if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft.

The tips include:

  • Contacting the police.
  • Filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Freeze your credit.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
  • Sign up for a credit monitoring service.

Back in July, Hogan announced that the state uncovered a massive and sophisticated criminal enterprise involving 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims totaling some $501 million. It is not clear whether this latest scheme targeting the governor and others in his administration is linked to that crime.

“Stealing the identity of the governor is probably not your best move,” Rubin said.

Upon detection, the fraudulent claims filed using stolen identities were immediately blocked. A comprehensive investigation is underway in coordination with the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General.


The Maryland Department of Labor is running weekly queries to cross-check all claimants filing and reporting state of Maryland as their last employer. This follows another fraud scheme uncovered on Election Day.

“This latest fraud scheme only reinforces the need to maintain the heightened security measures in place to protect Marylanders and the integrity of the state’s program,” Robinson said in a statement. “We are working closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure that all of these criminals are brought to justice.”

The DOL continues to investigate potentially fraudulent in-state and out-of-state claims. With more than 85.1% of claims confirmed as fraudulent, it is critical that the department reviews and verifies documentation manually, officials said in a statement.

Of the 115,356 out-of-state claims that have been identified as being potentially fraudulent, 105,738 (91.7%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.

Of the 98,769 in-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 76,388 (77.3%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.

There are currently 1,823 (0.8%) in-state and out-of-state potentially fraudulent claims pending manual review and verification by a team of specialists.

From March 9 to Nov. 28, the state’s Division of Unemployment Insurance paid a total of $8,224,675,615 in state and federal unemployment insurance benefits to claimants.

If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance by emailing [email protected]


Source: on 2020-12-09 13:37:37

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