THE US SECRET SERVICE IS INVESTIGATING A NIGERIAN CRIME RING WHO STOLE OVER $100 MILLION UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS
The US Secret Service is investigating a crime ring of suspected Nigerian hackers who allegedly used false unemployment claims to steal about $100 million of taxpayer dollars intended to cushion the effects of Coronavirus for Americans.
The syndicate is exploiting the Coronavirus pandemic by flooding different states unemployment offices in the US with bogus unemployment claims using Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information belonging to identity theft victims.
According to a Secret Service memo obtained by KrebsOnSecurity, “a substantial amount of the fraudulent benefits submitted have used PII from first responders, government personnel and school employees.”
“It is assumed the fraud ring behind this possesses a substantial PII database to submit the volume of applications observed thus far,” the Secret Service warned.
In response, Washington state where most of the fraudulent activities occurred has temporarily stopped payment of benefits while it sorts through the surge of fraud, leaving jobless Americans stranded.
The state planned to resume benefits payments on Saturday.
The US is working on fixing the loopholes that criminals use in exploiting in the system.
According to US Attorney Brian Moran, “chasing these reprehensible criminals is just one part of the equation. The other part is for the state to address and fix the vulnerabilities in their system, and I am advised that they are working to address that part of the problem.”
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