It’s been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baltimore, Md. (KM) – The Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of Labor are reminding citizens about unemployment insurance fraud. It has been on the rise in Maryland and across the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “To date, we have flagged more than 1.7-million claimants as being potentially fraudulent,”: says Joe Farren, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Labor.
He says recent incidents involve fraudsters setting up fake websites, and sending out text messages, to get people who are receiving unemployment benefits to provide the user names and passwords to their on line accounts. “And then from there, they’ll captures that data, and enter into the system and pretend to be a real claimant and steal their money,” Farren says.
He says anyone whose dealing with the Labor Department’s Labor Unemployment Division should remember this. “We will never provide assistance through a text message. We’re not going to provide assistance through a social media post. We’re not going to ask you to click on a link that you get on your Facebook or your Twitter or in a text,”: says Barren.
If you receive these messages over your computer, ignore them and, where possible, delete them. “So don’t click on any link that you get through a text message which says it’s from us because it isn’t,” says Barren.
If you believe you have been a victim of unemployment insurance fraud, contact the Maryland Department of Labor at email@example.com. “We are actively, regularly shutting down fraudulent sites. Locking accounts that have been accessed due to fraud. So we will take action as quickly as possible,” says Farren.
You can also call the Inspector General’s Office of the US Department of Labor at 1-800-347-3765.
“This is a scourge, and the level of dishonesty and illegal activity is staggering,” says Farren.
By Kevin McManus