New York AG issues warning on new unemployment scam, fraudulent claims being filed

Posted at 1:24 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 13:24:39-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York State Attorney General Letitia James has issued a warning on a new unemployment scam that has been reportedly recently, which is using New Yorkers’ personal information to file fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits.

There are recent reports that scammers have access to detailed databases with Personally Identifiable Information (P.I.I.). Once the scammers have the P.I.I. they seek out "mules" who are used to file the claims online.

The AG's office says those who have been contacted by the NYS Department of Labor about unemployment benefits they did not apply for should be aware of possible identity theft.

7 Eyewitness News spoke with a Cheektowaga nurse who was the target of this scam and later spoke with a spokesperson for the FBI in Buffalo who says the FBI is investigating this activity.

AG James says the following tips can be helpful for New Yorkers to protect themselves from these scams:

  • Be suspicious of anyone who calls you over the phone seeking money or personal information. If you owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in writing that identifies the agency and the reason you owe money.
  • Do not give out personal and sensitive information, including your Social Security number and bank account information, to individuals over the phone. In addition, ensure to independently verify the authenticity of the caller.

If you believe you are a victim of this scam you can file a report with the NYS DOL here, the NYS AG's Office here or by calling 1-800-771-7755.