Maryland State Police, Department Of Labor Warn Of Rise In Unemployment Insurance Scams
(BALTIMORE) – The Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of Labor Unemployment Division are tracking and combating illegal schemes wherein fraudsters are impersonating the Division in email correspondence, text messages and phone calls with the intent of stealing unemployment insurance benefits.
The Department of Labor is coordinating with Maryland State Police to alert the public about these ongoing and evolving fraud scams.
- Unemployment Insurance fraud is a nationwide challenge that federal and state law enforcement agencies across the country are continuing to combat.
- The latest scheme is to ask legitimate claimants to enter their user ID and password onto fake websites wherein fraudsters then capture the data and use it to steal unemployment benefits.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Maryland Department of Labor has flagged nearly 1.8 million claimants – and 2.3 million total claims – as potentially fraudulent.
Recent Scam Alerts
Below are examples of sophisticated fraudulent text messages (SMS) reported to the Division by Maryland constituents. Text messages like these are designed by fraud scammers to grab a user’s attention and lure them into clicking on a link to provide personal information. Again, one common scheme is to ask claimants to enter their User ID and Password, which the fraudsters then capture and use to divert benefit payments to their own bank accounts. If you receive an email or text message that appears to be from the Maryland Department of Labor DO NOT click on any links in the correspondence.
How to Protect Yourself From Unemployment Insurance Fraud Scams
To help you distinguish between legitimate assistance from Division staff and fraudulent assistance from a potential scammer, please remember the following:
- Division does not provide assistance through text message and will not send any links asking a claimant to verify their account through text.
- Division will never request or require payment for assistance with unemployment insurance.
- Division staff will not provide assistance to claimants through direct message on social media.
- Do not provide any sensitive information related to your Maryland unemployment insurance claim by e-mail unless it is to a @maryland.gov e-mail address.
Report Fraud Scams
If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance by visiting MDunemployment.com or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Suspected unemployment insurance fraud should also be reported to the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General Hotline by visiting the website or calling 1-800-347-3756.
Identity Theft Protection and Resources
Follow these steps to protect your information from identity theft. If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, please do the following:
- Contact your local Police Department or Maryland State Police Barrack in your area to file a police report.
- File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) online at IC3.gov.
For more information about identity theft, and how to protect yourself please visit:
- Commissioner of Financial Regulation Identity Theft Page
- Maryland Attorney General Identity Theft
What Else Can You Do
Review Your Account Statements and Order a Credit Report. We recommend that you regularly review account statements and order credit reports. Under Maryland and federal law, you are entitled to two FREE credit reports from each of the credit reporting agencies each year. Call 1-877-322-8228 or visit www.annualcreditreport.com to access your report through the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. You must contact each of the three credit reporting agencies individually to access your credit report under Maryland law:
- Equifax: 1-800-685-1111
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-888-909-8872
If you have questions or need additional information, contact us. Please know we will remain vigilant in our coordinated efforts to secure and protect your information. To receive updates and additional information about unemployment insurance programs in Maryland, visit MDunemployment.com.
CONTACT: Maryland State Police Office of Communications, 410-653-4236 or email@example.com; Maryland Department of Labor, Joe Farren 410-746-0010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.