Increase in Account Fraud and Scams During COVID-19

Jun 26, 2020
Scams during the Coronavirus are spreading almost as fast as the virus itself. The U.S. Secret Service has announced that there is “Massive Fraud” against state unemployment-insurance programs. Due to the large volume of unemployment claims being filed during COVID-19, fraudsters are submitting fake claims, using stolen names and the personal information of people who have not filed claims, often from other states. The goal is to steal their victim’s benefits, money, and personal information to use for identity theft.

Unemployment Fraud

Scams during the Coronavirus are spreading almost as fast as the virus itself. The U.S. Secret Service has announced that there is “Massive Fraud” against state unemployment-insurance programs. Due to the large volume of unemployment claims being filed during COVID-19, fraudsters are submitting fake claims, using stolen names and the personal information of people who have not filed claims, often from other states. The goal is to steal their victim’s benefits, money, and personal information to use for identity theft.


Another type of fraud is calls or texts from scammers claiming they can help their victim set up unemployment benefits. The fraudsters are asking for claimants to upload personal documents to a website or they may ask claimants to send personal information to an email address. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) will not ask you to submit any type of document by email – they require the documents to be faxed, mailed, or securely uploaded to the official website. If you need help with unemployment benefits, please visit www.jobs.state.nm.us or call NMDWS at 877-664-6984.


Other Fraud

Nusenda has seen an increase in scams during COVID-19. The coronavirus has created an opportunity for scammers to prey on individuals with financial difficulties. Many employment scams are being reported. Often scammers will randomly text or reach out via social media with “employment opportunities.” These scams may request you to wire money to make purchases, such as gift cards, so you can be a secret shopper or have you wire a “fee” to start your employment. Do not provide your financial account information. If the job offer is too good to be true, it probably is.


Many scams include having you transfer money via a wire transfer, a mobile payment app like Venmo, CashApp, or Zelle, or they provide you credentials to deposit a check into an unknown account. If you are asked transfer or receive money from a person or company you do not know, do not click on the links. If you do send money to a scammer, you should report it right away to the mobile payment app and contact your financial institution.


Scammers are taking advantage of dating website users. If you meet someone online or through a dating app that “needs” you to wire money or reload a gift card, do not do it. Stop communicating with the person immediately and report it to the dating site and to the Federal Trade Commission.


If you experience any of the above scenarios, call us immediately at 889-7755 (800-347-2838 outside the Albuquerque area).

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