“Cybercriminals are always finding new ways to use people’s personal information to get access to money,” said AIP vice president of product Lewis Bertolucci. “These new tactics, like unemployment fraud, pop up quickly and are getting more difficult to resolve.” AIP also noted that since the start of the pandemic, the Department of Labor has estimated that scammers have collected $36 billion in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Fraudsters typically exploit state-run unemployment insurance platforms that are swamped by thousands of claims.
Bertolucci added that it is no longer enough for consumers to rely only on their banks or free credit services to protect themselves from fraud; it will require specialized expertise and even reimbursement coverage to resolves such issues. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment fraud accounted for only a small fraction of all identity theft cases; in AIP’s case, it only accounted for less than 0.1% of the fraud cases it handles. However, it now represents about 70% of the fraud cases resolved by AIP.
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