DWD issues fraud alert to unemployment insurance claimants
The Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development has issued a fraud alert to notify those who have filed for unemployment insurance benefits in 2020 that they need to protect their personal information from potential scammers.
The U.S. Dept. of Labor Office of Inspector General has discovered that scammers are sending emails in an effort to steal claimants’ passwords, account numbers and/or Social Security numbers. With this information, they can gain access to email, bank and other accounts.
The scammers are sending emails using the names of companies or individuals familiar to claimants. They use familiar icons, folder names and programs to trick claimants into providing their personal information to them.
Claimants can protect themselves by hovering over the links scammers include in the emails, but not clicking on them, to see where the links will take them. Most scammers will use a URL shortened to hide the website’s true identity. You can also call the sender to inquire if the email is legitimate.
The links send the victim to a web page, which looks like a Microsoft SharePoint website. It further requires the user to sign-in using a Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo! or other user account.
Once a person has signed into a personal account, the scammers obtain their user name and password and will have access to stored online files and contact lists. They may use this contact list to send the same scam email to the victim’s friends and family.
The scammers may use personal information to collect unemployment insurance in the victim’s name or change the victim’s bank account number to one of their own.
The DWD does not require claimants to use a secondary account to sign into its online filing system.
To report an allegation of fraud involving unemployment, visit the DWD’s fraud reporting web page and click on “Report Unemployment Fraud.”