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Thu Sep 22, 2022, 04:37 PM

U.S. watchdog estimates $45.6 billion in pandemic unemployment fraud

Source: Washington Post

U.S. watchdog estimates $45.6 billion in pandemic unemployment fraud

Applicants got aid using dead people’s Social Security numbers and the names of people serving federal prison terms

By Tony Romm
Updated September 22, 2022 at 2:55 p.m. EDT|Published September 22, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

A federal watchdog on Thursday found that fraudsters may have stolen $45.6 billion from the nation’s unemployment insurance program during the pandemic, using the Social Security numbers of dead people and other tactics to deceive and bilk the U.S. government.

The new estimate is a dramatic increase from the roughly $16 billion in potential fraud identified a year ago, and it illustrates the immense task still ahead of Washington as it seeks to pinpoint the losses, recover the funds and hold criminals accountable for stealing from a vast array of federal relief programs.

The report, issued by the inspector general for the Labor Department, paints a grim portrait of the country’s jobless aid program beginning under the Trump administration in 2020. The weekly benefits helped more than 57 million families just in the first five months of the crisis — yet the program quickly emerged as a tempting target for criminals.

To siphon away funds, scammers allegedly filed billions of dollars in unemployment claims in multiple states simultaneously and relied on suspicious, hard-to-trace emails. In some cases, they used more than 205,000 Social Security numbers that belonged to dead people. Other suspected criminals obtained benefits using the identities of prisoners who were ineligible for aid.

-snip-

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/09/22/unemployment-fraud-coroanvirus-pandemic/

Non-paywalled link: https://wapo.st/3LyxGRO

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Reply U.S. watchdog estimates $45.6 billion in pandemic unemployment fraud (Original post)
Eugene Thursday OP
RussBLib Thursday #1
newdayneeded Friday #2

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Sep 22, 2022, 05:18 PM

1. Sometimes, it seems like this nation is....

...a nation of crooks, grifters and swindlers.

Dangle some money and watch them jump!

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Sep 23, 2022, 01:59 PM

2. But, then again

why were they paying people more than they made in their regular wages. My niece got laid off as the pandemic started. With unemployment and the extra $600/week she was making $1000 more a month than her job paid.

That's a big carrot to dangle in people's faces and not expect fraud.

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