(FinancialHealth.net) – Millions of people across the country have applied for unemployment over the last couple of months as COVID-19 has wrecked the economy. Of course, people are trying to take advantage of the crisis for their own personal gain. That’s exactly what happened in Washington state recently.
Late last week, state officials announced they were shutting down unemployment payments for two days. In an interview with the Seattle Times, the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) said fraudulent claims skyrocketed between March and April. They believe scammers received almost $1.6 million, up from $40,000.
ESD issued a warning on May 18 and asked residents to report potential fraud:
Reports of fraud are on the rise. If someone is using your personal information to claim unemployment benefits, you should report it to us right away. Instructions ➡️ https://t.co/7QhJw7VeRi pic.twitter.com/DFfBTLFx2z
— Washington State ESD (@ESDwaWorks) May 18, 2020
Washington isn’t the only state dealing with this problem. According to reports, the US Secret Service recently uncovered a massive, Nigerian fraud ring targeting several states including Florida, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Massachusetts and Oklahoma.
State and federal governments are taking steps to secure unemployment systems. Unfortunately, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the problem is likely to persist as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and people continue to lose their jobs.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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