The coronavirus pandemic has opened the door to scammers. According to USA Today, the thieves are targeting unemployment claims using stolen identities. The Secret Service even issued a warning about the fraud.
The Secret Service’s statement explained that the scammers were using stolen IDs mostly from school and government employees and first responders. The con artists use the IDs to request unemployment checks from various states across the nation. This can be a lucrative scam for them, as a typical coronavirus-related unemployment check is $600. The unfortunate thing about this scam is that the thieves already have access to IDs thanks to massive data breaches over the past few years. To combat the scam, many states are starting to email and mail people who have filed for unemployment. The emails and mailed letters ask for consumers to verify their identity.
You can avoid being an identity theft victim by regularly monitoring your credit report for inaccuracies. Remember: You can access your credit report for free at any time if you’re are a SavvyMoney user. Additionally, during coronavirus, all three credit bureaus are allowing free, weekly credit checks. Take advantage of that. You should also be using a password app or site to help you manage your passwords and keep them super strong. Be extra wary about any emails that seem suspicious. Never open an email or click on a link that seems off to you. Instead, attempt to verify the information first. If the email is from a legitimate sender, then you can proceed. These simple steps will help protect your identity and give scammers one less person to target.