Fraud Schemes Exploit Weak Spots in Unemployment Claims System

Pandemic programs have lowered the barriers to collecting benefits, and the usual security methods haven’t kept up.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Patricia Cohen
New York Times (NYT)
October 1, 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Unemployment, Unemployment Insurance


Social service agencies have historically been preoccupied with preventing potential beneficiaries from cheating the government — individuals who lie about seeking a job or the date of their return to work.

“Anti-fraud systems are organized around that,” Ms. LeVine said. “Saying I was looking for a job when I was actually on a beach in Cabo.”

But most fraud is now being engineered by cybercriminals, some of them working together, who have stolen or bought other people’s identities and are using them to raid state unemployment systems.