When there is a time of disaster, there are always opportunists that look to take advantage of it to better themselves.
Unfortunately, there the coronavirus pandemic is no outlier to this rule of thumb, and now even the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned the public of a "large scale" unemployment fraud scam that seems to be going around. According to the FTC, there's a "large-scale scam erupting in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic", and that impostors are filing claims for unemployment benefits with the personal information of people who have not filed any claims.
Here's what the FTC said, "They may pretend to be your state unemployment agency and say the money was sent by mistake. This a money mule scam and participating in one could cause you more difficulties. If you get benefits, you never applied for, report it to your state unemployment agency and ask for instructions. Don't respond to any calls, emails, or text messages telling you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Your state agency will never tell you to repay money that way. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time."
As always, if it appears to be too good to be true, it usually is. In this case of fraud, the FTC says that sometimes the money will be sent to the person who the impostor is to impersonate, and sometimes that person will be contacted by the impostor in an attempt to recover the funds. It should be noted, and as the FTC explains, "Your state agency will never tell you to repay money that way. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time."
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