A new Unemployment Insurance (UI) scam is targeting Massachusetts employers. Here’s what you need to know.
Over the past several weeks, a vast amount of fraudulent Unemployment Insurance claims have been made nationwide. Using personal information stolen through previous nationwide data breaches, several states are reporting losses.
As a result, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) will be asking all Unemployment Insurance claimants for additional information to confirm their identity. While multi-factor authentication is commonly used to better protect individuals, the practice may result in payment delays for those receiving benefits.
What you should look for:
We strongly urge employers to log into their Unemployment Insurance accounts online to see if there are any claims listed that are not valid. Often the claims will be for a current employee who has not filed. While the employees may also get a notice at their home, they may not open them and be alerted that someone has filed a fraudulent claim using their information. Since they are not collecting unemployment benefits, they may assume the mail is junk mail and simply throw it out.
If you suspect a claim has been filed falsely under your name, you are urged to utilize the DUA fraud contact form at mass.gov/unemployment-fraud or to call the DUA customer service department at 877-626-6800. The employee must complete this form but the employer should also send an alert to unemployment.
We would also recommend:
- Calling your local police – at the very least it provides an official record (beyond the form you filled out above) that you are a victim of identity theft and not trying to claim benefits.
- Running a credit report – this is free and easy to do. Look for accounts opened in your name recently, as one of the means to perpetrate the fraud is to file for unemployment under your name and open a new bank account for the funds to be deposited (but under the thief’s control).
- Monitor your bank accounts – check for deposits that you aren’t expecting. Police have said another way the fraud is completed is to have the UI benefits deposited into your bank account, whereby scammers can call and convince you to withdraw the funds to buy gift cards. The recommendation is to never buy gift cards because someone asks you over the phone.
How Insource can help:
Get in touch with Insource to understand how we can help prevent this scam from affecting your business, and how we can work together to safeguard your business from future scams and/or help you log into your unemployment account to review claimants.
We are always keeping our blog updated with information regarding scams targeting businesses, both in Massachusetts and nationwide. You may be interested in reading our recent blog on Massachusetts’ latest return to work guidelines, which you find here.
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