Millions of Americans are filing for Unemployment Benefits and scammers are taking advantage. Billions of dollars in unemployment benefits are being stolen by the filing of fraudulent claims in the names of working employees. Texas Workforce Commission's James Bernsen explains, "We've never seen identity theft within the organization. The identity is stolen somewhere else and then the scammers will take that information and try to get into our system and then try to get benefits from that person." Bernsen says unemployment benefits are one of many targets. "An ID is stolen somewhere on the internet and then is shopped around on the dark web. Then it could be used for various scams"
Scammers can use your identification to steal from your future possible unemployment benefits and the state-federal government. Bernsen of the Texas Workforce Commission says there's a lot of money in unemployment benefits. "In the last year there has been an increase of identity fraud. In a time of pandemic we have seen fraudsters tend to gravitate to where the money is available...and Texas Workforce Commission unemployment benefits certainly fits that category!"
Bernsen says fraudulent claims using identification from employed workers are stealing billions nationwide and could hamper honest claims in the future. He says TWC checks with employers to verify unemployment status before distributing payments, but change your passwords often anyway.
Bernsen says to contact TWC immediately if you think you are a victim of this scam.
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