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Posted on May 27, 2020
Associated Industries of Massachusetts today warned employers and workers to be on alert for a national scheme in which scammers are using stolen person information to file fraudulent unemployment claims in Massachusetts.
The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Wednesday that criminal enterprises with access to stolen personal information from prior national data breaches were attempting to file large numbers of unemployment benefit claims through the Department of Unemployment Assistance system.
AIM members began contacting the association last Thursday regarding letters that their employees received from the Commonwealth’s Department of Unemployment assistance (DUA) reporting that their “alleged claim” for Pandemic Unemployment assistance (PUA) was approved.
None of these employees had applied for PUA benefits and were fully employed at the time of the notification. AIM notified the DUA and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta and her staff worked over the weekend to provide develop tools for employers and employees.
Scammers have been effective in other parts of the country defrauding the unemployment systems in various states. The Seattle Times recently reported that the state of Washington recently became award of an international scam that targeted the state’s unemployment system costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
Because this appears to be an illegal use of personal information, the DUA has also advised that the employees take the lead with filing UI fraud reports to avoid conflicts with potentially valid UI claims. AIM experts suggest that employees and employers work together to address the scam by reviewing the Department of Unemployment Assistance tools here and the following checklist of steps:
What can employers do?
What should an employee do?
If you need assistance, please contact the AIM Employer Hotline at 800-470-6277.