With COVID-19 leading to a rise in unemployment, the fraud and scams related to such instances have seen a steep rise. As the states scramble within to process the massive inflow of applications pending the economic lockdown, scammers have started taking benefit of this loophole.
In the 3 months timeline since the COVID-19 outbreak, the virus has forced the US economy to move for a shutdown. Now, 44 Million+ Americans have opted for the unemployment benefits. However, the outdated computers being used by the states have led to slow processing. Apart from the rush to provide much-needed cash to unemployed Americans, the outdated system has made it susceptible to potential criminal activities.
Evidence of system attack by Nigeria-based fraud ring has been shown by a minimum of 7 states as per the memo published by USA’s Secret Service. These states include names such as Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Florida, Wyoming, and more.
It is highly likely that each state in the US might be susceptible to this vulnerability in case they haven’t yet been targeted. Washington is no doubt among the hardest hit as it lost 100s of millions of US dollars. The state has already paid out somewhere around $550 to $650 Million under fraud claims.