Cybercriminals use stolen American identities to claim unemployment benefits in US: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 18, 2020

The United States Security service is investigating fraudulent attempts by a Nigerian crime ring to claim unemployment benefits using stolen American identities according to reports.

A Nigerian crime ring has been using previously stolen personal data of American citizens to claim unemployment benefits. The matter is being investigated by the US agency, according to Krebs on Security.

According to the report, the hackers were able to exploit the weak cybersecurity measures of unemployment systems in various States.

The agency has also sent a memo to alert field offices late last week, the Verge reported.

The Nigeria-based cybercrime ring has stolen a “substantial” database of personal information including the data of government personnel, and school employees, according to the Krebs On Security report.

The cybercriminals are primarily targeting the Washington State. There has also been evidence of other attacks in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wyoming, the report said.

According to a New York Times report, as States are flooded with unemployment claims the Washington State had realized that it had a problem in the past few days. Its unemployment office had been receiving calls from people who said that they had received the paperwork for unemployment benefits claims though they had not applied for it.

The cyberattack comes at a time when the US unemployment rate is surging owing to the Covid-19 pandemic with over 36 million Americans being out of work as per reports.

Published on May 18, 2020

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