As Americans rush to apply for unemployment, almost 44 million applications have been received by the US government in the last 3 months. While jobless citizens seek financial benefits, cybercriminals are having the time of their lives. As a matter of fact, scammers have been relentlessly filing for unemployment applications themselves.
Cybercriminals have been targeting unsuspecting individuals and stealing their personal information as well as promoting lucrative methods on the dark web via forums.
Dark web has an understated and underground marketplace that sells a variety of public information including W-2 forms, credit reports and fake IDs helping criminals achieve their goals.
A comprehensive ‘How-to’ Guide has come to light as COVID-19 has led people to seek financial assistance from the government. This how-to guide is available for purchase for as little as $50, making it seamlessly easy for any hacker looking to steal public information.
This dark web platform is very similar to the real life social media platforms, where vendors provide testimonial evidence by posting screenshots of their successful campaigns.
While this is fun and games to cyber criminals, Washington State has been a severe financial loss as they’ve paid out more than half a billion dollars in fraud claims and only recovered 333 million out of that enormous amount, as stated by Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine.
Ohio State officials reported approximately 1500 fraudulent cases in which information of the currently employed individuals was fraudulently used to obtain financial benefits.
Massachusetts on the other hand disclosed approximately 300 calls from the state residents who were targeted by the fraudsters to obtain money. AG Maura Healey of MA stated, “We are working with our state and federal partners to determine the sources of these fraudulent claims and take appropriate action,”.
The state officials around the country are taking initiatives to identify and put an end to these scams that are causing the United States hundreds of millions of dollars.