Got Unemployment? If you’re thinking about applying for Unemployment or are already receiving this type of temporary financial help, you may be at risk for Unemployment Scams! Proving just how low scammers will go, scammers are taking advantage of the many Americans who have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Learn how to spot these Unemployment Scams, the most popular scams, and how to protect yourself during this trying time.
What are Unemployment Benefits and Why Do People Apply for Them?
People seek out Unemployment Benefits when they lose their job or their employer no longer has work for them to do. Losing your job can be terrifying. You might worry about making your house payment, paying rent, or even providing for yourself and your family members. When a job loss occurs, workers are relieved to know that they can receive weekly benefits, as long as they were unemployed through no fault of their own. Although states establish their own terms for their Unemployment insurance programs, the basis of this aid is through a joint state-federal program.
How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits
To apply for Unemployment, first, connect with your state’s agency and apply online. While the terms of receiving this insurance have changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many people are pleased to receive more money through the additional sum from the Federal government.
Common Coronavirus Unemployment Scams
The FBI is warning that citizens are encountering a spike in Unemployment Scams. COVID-19 and the increased money that people are receiving from the federal government has made these scams common and very risky to people facing financial need.
1. Fake Phone Calls
A fake cold-caller could pretend to be with your State’s Unemployment Agency and steal your data, password, or financial information. The FBI says, “Be wary of telephone calls and text messages, letters, websites, or emails that require you to provide your personal information or other sensitive information, especially birth dates and Social Security numbers.”
2. Fake Email Links
Whether you are receiving Unemployment benefits or not, be very cautious of fake emails that contain attachments or have embedded links. If the sender isn’t someone you know (check the actual firstname.lastname@example.org, not just the name showing).
3. Already Filed … By Someone Else!
According to the FBI, victims are receiving a notification that a claim has been filed … even though they are currently working and did not file a claim form! If the fraudulent claim is approved, it could lead to the worker owing money back to their state’s Unemployment Agency. That money can even be garnished from your tax refund!
4. Criminal Actors
Criminals want your money and don’t care how much you suffer. The FBI reports that criminal actors use a number of technological tricks. These may include the purchase of stolen PII, your data stolen from prior data breaches, or data collected through malware/computer intrusions. As explained above, criminal actors collect information through fake cold-calling and other types of impersonation scams— including email phishing schemes or stealing hard copies of data from a victim or outside third parties.
5. Fake Fees
You should not have to pay ANY money to file or qualify for Unemployment Insurance. Any fees requested for these actions are part of a scam.
What to Do if You’re a Victim of Coronavirus Unemployment Scams
1. Immediately contact your state’s agency, here
2. File a form with the FBI: identitytheft.gov
3. Email Social Catfish so we can collect your story and warn our followers.
Social Catfish is Here to Help with Coronavirus Unemployment Scams
Don’t let the challenges of Unemployment lead to you being scammed. Fact-check every email sender, website, and phone number that contacts you about your Unemployment.
While it can be difficult to reach your Unemployment Agency by phone (with so many people laid off), you can go onto Social Catfish to find whether you’re at risk of being scammed by coronavirus unemployment scams! You can reverse search by name, email address, phone number, username, or photograph today!