Cybercriminals are stealing identities to claim unemployment benefits. Many unemployed people are finding their unemployment checks and stimulus payments stolen. Many are even bombarded with fake work-from-home offers and messages asking for personal financial information. In this article at KrebsOnSecurity, the author explains how criminals are filing fake unemployment claims on behalf of people who have not lost their jobs.
How do Cybercriminals Claim Unemployment Benefits?
The hackers are now exploiting the weak cybersecurity measures of unemployment systems in various states. “Email security firm Agari detailed a fraud operation tied to a seasoned Nigerian cybercrime group it dubbed ‘Scatter Canary,’ which has been busy of late bilking states and the federal government out of economic stimulus and unemployment payments,” explains the author.
According to the reports, deposits are made into accounts where the beneficiary’s name does not match the name on the back account. Furthermore, cybercriminals have pared back on the amount of information required to successfully request an unemployment filing. Security experts believe that new processes, added workload, and outdated systems have made it easier for criminals to act.
How to Protect Your Personal Information?
Experts warn that if a criminal has enough information to make an unemployment claim, they have enough data to commit other acts of identity theft too. So, people must protect their personal information from further harm by freezing their credit and monitoring their credit regularly for any irregularities.
Most attackers use data obtained from previous internet breaches of hotel chains, entertainment services, and other widely-used digital productivity tools. Therefore, make sure you never use the same password twice. Further, you can use multi-factor authentication on your most important accounts.
You must be vigilant of phishing emails and phishing fraud calls, that can lead to your identity theft. Also, be wary of free apps/offers, as they will mine your data.
To understand how cybercriminals ride the unemployment fraud ‘wave,’ click on https://krebsonsecurity.com/2020/05/riding-the-state-unemployment-fraud-wave/.