Southampton Town Police are warning local residents about an ongoing nationwide attempt to defraud many states’ unemployment insurance programs.
This scheme has targeted people around the country, including some locally, Southampton Police said in a press release. In an attempt to defraud the government, criminals file false claims in the employees’ names in the hope of receiving unemployment payments from the state.
The employees are not part of the scheme and in some cases may never know that their names have been used fraudulently.
Police have received reports from community members that they have received unemployment benefits that they did not apply for. If you receive any notification that an unauthorized unemployment application has been applied for in your name, it is very important that you take the proper steps to alert the authorities about this fraud, police said.
If you receive any communications from your state unemployment program about qualifying or being approved for benefits, and you did not file for any benefits, police ask that you take the following actions:
Investigators believe that the criminals are using data from breaches in years past to obtain the names, Social Security numbers, and other information.
Most investigators do not believe that the employees whose names were used fraudulently are at any risk of having their own money stolen through this scheme, police said. However, if you receive notification that unemployment benefits have been filed in your name, you may want to take some additional steps to protect yourself against identity theft, according to the press release.
The Federal Trade Commission has published recommendations for ways to protect your information. See the FTC webpage.
These recommendations will reduce the risk that your information could be misused if it has been stolen.
As we become aware of additional significant information about this scheme, we will provide further updates.
For more information on this fraudulent activity, see the New York State Department of Labor press release.
Even after you have reported the fraud to NYSDOL, you may still receive correspondence from them. The correspondence may even include a bank card or an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
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