Fraud Alert: NBSB Warns About Unemployment Payment Scam

Scammers are always ready and waiting for opportunities to take advantage of people who are stressed and possibly not being as vigilant as they should be. This is especially true during times like now, when people are feeling uncertain about their financial future or what the next day may bring. That is why more now than ever, it is incredibly important to pay close attention in order to not become a victim.

 

Fraud Alert: Recently, according to the United States Secret Service, investigators see evidence of a sophisticated international fraud network that is committing a massive scheme against multiple state unemployment insurance programs, including the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance. The fraud network is believed to consist of hundreds, if not thousands, of mules or intermediaries, willing or unwitting individuals, who are enlisted to help launder the proceeds of fraudulent financial transactions, which could potentially tap into millions that were meant for U.S. unemployed citizens.

The state primarily being targeted is Washington, however in addition to Massachusetts, evidence of the attacks is being discovered in the states of Rhode Island, Maine, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma and Wyoming. It is extremely likely every state is vulnerable to this scheme and will be targeted if they have not been already.

 

How it works: Using personal identifiable information of United States citizens, that may have been obtained through cyber hacks from past years – social security, etc. – the fraudsters impersonate the victims to file claims on their behalf, whether they are still employed or not.

Victims of the scheme are receiving multiple unexpected automatic deposits from state unemployment insurance programs. In almost every case, the deposits were made in the name of a person who had no connection to the account holder. These may be received at their home or work address, and some victims may even receive an unemployment payment card in their name that looks similarly to a debit card.

 

Stay alert! What you should watch for:

If you receive unemployment confirmation paperwork in the mail that you did not personally file for.

If you receive an unexpected automatic deposit.

If you receive a phone call or email asking you to forward/withdraw an unexpected automatic deposit, all or part of the funds, to send to someone else?

 

What To Do If You Suspect Unemployment Fraud

If you received any of the warning signs listed above and suspect you may be a victim of unemployment fraud, contact us at North Brookfield Savings Bank immediately so we can help – 866-711-6272. You should also act quickly and notify all of the contacts below.

  • Alert your employer immediately.
  • Report it to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment, 877-626-6800
  • Report it to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, 1-617-727-8400
  • Contact your local police department to determine if you should file a fraud report.
  • Contact the 3 major credit bureaus. This scheme involves the use of personable identifiable information so you should consider putting a freeze on your credit to protect your identity.
  • Contact your local bank or financial institutions immediately. North Brookfield Savings Bank is here to help. Contact Us.

 

FOR MORE DETAILS ON HOW TO REPORT A SCAM OR FRAUD OF ANY KIND:

North Brookfield Savings Bank’s Security Center lets you quickly take action, based on the scam type, through our Report Fraud and Scam webpage.

Report Fraud, Scams & Identity Theft

 

For more helpful ways to protect yourself you can view North Brookfield Savings Bank’s Safety and Security blog posts or visit our comprehensive Security Center that is filled with valuable resources to aid our customers in the fight against fraud.