NEW YORK — Attorney General Letitia James is warning New Yorkers about new scams, which use individual's personal information to file fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits.
According to the attorney general, there have been recent reports of scammers having access to detailed databases with Personally Identifiable Information (P.I.I.). Scammers then utilize "mules" as intermediaries to file claims online seeking benefits.
“We must remain vigilant about potential scams and ensure residents remain alert,” Attorney General James said. “During these uncertain times, unemployment benefits are a safety net for many individuals and families who have lost their jobs. To exploit the use of these funds and overload a system that is already processing unprecedented numbers of claims per day is as shameful as it is illegal. My office remains committed to holding accountable anyone who violates the law, and I continue to encourage the public to report suspected scams to my office.”
The Office of the Attorney General says anyone who has been contacted by the New York State Department of Labor about unemployment benefits, which they did not apply for, must be aware of the possibility of identity theft.
Anyone who is a victim of unemployment benefits fraud should report any incidents to their employer and to the NYS Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Program. Victims can also file a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General or call 1-800-771-7755.
To further protect yourself from scams, the attorney general advises New Yorkers to be suspicious of anyone who calls you seeking money or personal information. The attorney general says if you owe money you will receive a legitimate notice in writing, which identifies the agency and the reason you owe money.
The attorney general also advises individuals not to give out personal and/or sensitive information such as your Social Security number and/or bank account information over the phone. You should also ensure to independently verify the authenticity of the caller.
Click here for more information about how to protect your identity.