ID Thieves Are Now Targeting Unemployment Benefits

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow across the country, so do the number of COVID-19 scams that have been appearing trying to get access to personal and financial information. With this in mind we are proud to say we have partnered with long time local area consumer protection advocate Herb Weisbaum of KOMO to bring you Technology and Title Tips. 

Fraudsters will always try to take advantage of new opportunities in a time of crisis like evictions, foreclosures assistance, stimulus payments, and unemployment benefits.

The Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic is a dream come true for con artists across the globe.

“There is something for every scammer,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center, who has been fighting fraud for more than 30 years now. “The scope and the scale of all the different types of scams stemming from the pandemic is something I’ve actually never seen before.”

“So we are getting calls from many people who are trying to apply for unemployment and they finally get through, which is an arduous task in itself, and they find that they’re not eligible, that they’ve already applied for it – when in fact, they know they haven’t,” Velasquez told me. “They’re crime victims and they are out that money at a time when they need it to live.”

“It can be difficult to decipher which emails, phone calls, social media posts or text messages are scams versus legitimate ones. People are scared, people are out of work, and government relief programs are distributing money in unprecedented amounts. Identity thieves are now targeting people who are out of work, trying to steal their unemployment benefits,” she said.

Unsure if something is legitimate? Go to the source of the potential assistance. That means if the offer of unemployment benefits seems to be uncharacteristic, go directly to the employment development department and check their website. If it has to do with housing – whether that’s eviction or foreclosure assistance – head to that source (local housing commission, banking institution, etc.). Don’t trust an inbound message that isn’t verifiable.

Listen to the Consumer Tip Below.

Follow these links to read more.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam or want to check on something before you click a link or provide personal information, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center (or call 888-400-5530) and talk or chat with one of their expert advisors.

Thank you from all of us at Ticor Title! 

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