Pandemic Causing Rise in Unemployment Fraud

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At the time this article was written, more than 120,000 Americans had perished from the deadly virus COVID-19.

The death toll continues to rise right alongside the unemployment rate. As if this tragic state of affairs is not enough for our nation to face, countless individuals are now falling victim to unemployment fraud. Yes! During some of the most trying times we’ve ever faced, there are people actually stealing the identities of others and filing for their unemployment benefits!

How can this be? It’s easier than you think. According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers are using information such as social security numbers to file false claims. What’s worse, even those who are employed are being targeted, which means they are less likely to immediately recognize that their identity has been compromised until contacted by the human resources department of their employer.

Here are a few tips to safeguard you from unemployment fraud:

  1. If you suspect that a fraudulent unemployment claim has been made in your name, contact Human Resources. They can help determine if a claim has been filed in your name and also assist with getting the claim denied.
  2. Be sure to report any instances of unemployment fraud to all three credit reporting agencies — Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. Each entity can help with security measures including freezing your accounts for your protection.
  3. If a fraudulent claim has been filed in your name, file a report with local law enforcement. Remember, identity theft and fraud are crimes punishable by law. The greater the paper trail you have to defend yourself, the better.
  4. Regularly update your banking information. Periodically change your passwords, and check for unexpected deposits or withdrawals. Contact your banking institution immediately if you notice any suspicious activity.

In the season of this pandemic, keep your financial guards up.

More people than you could ever imagine are preying on the misfortunes of others for their own financial gain.

Want more information about avoiding fraudulent activity and other financial advice? Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled Financial and LinkedIn! 

To schedule a complimentary consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email djwalker@atledfinancial.com and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome!

*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street, Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.

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