The presence of unemployment-related scams has grown in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Current unemployment scams include both fraudulent claims and unemployment-related phishing attempts. As many employers are currently dealing with the reality of a high amount of unemployment claims, organizations can take steps to prepare for fraudulent activity and to accurately identify legitimate requests. By taking proactive steps and preventive measures, your organization can be best prepared to identify and, if necessary, respond to fraudulent activity.
The Presence of Scams
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers often file fraudulent unemployment claims, sometimes even for people who are not unemployed. And, unfortunately, many scams are not revealed until it is too late. Many scam artists may not even be located in the United States. With the coronavirus pandemic leading to unemployment rates as high as they’ve been since the economic crash in 2008, more unemployment claims are being processed than ever before. Scammers seek opportunity, and this niche has received enough attention to warrant a fraud alert from the FTC.
How Scams Happen
Unemployment-related scams can happen to a current or former employee—regardless of an employee’s role at an organization. While scams were also present pre-coronavirus, current unemployment scams primarily fall under the following categories:
- Fraudulent unemployment benefit claims—These are false claims filed using the personal information of an employed or unemployed individual. This type of scam can allow a scammer to receive someone else’s falsified unemployment benefits.
- Phishing attempts—These generally come in the form of emails sent with the intent of tricking people into giving away personal information. This may allow scammers to:
- File fraudulent unemployment claims.
- Change bank account information on legitimate unemployment claims.
- Steal additional personal information.
Employers should be prepared to identify these types of fraudulent activities. By educating workforces, reviewing emails with caution and preparing appropriate scam responses, organizations can be better prepared for attempted fraud.
Employers can take certain steps, such as the following, to help prevent fraudulent activities:
While we can’t help protect you from unemployment scams, we can provide guidance that will protect you from false worker’s compensation claims. Contact Barrow Group at 800-874-4798 today.