Scammers File for Unemployment Benefits Under False Identities
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American Family Insurance is informing their clients this week of a data breach that resulted in the use of falsely obtained driver’s license numbers in a mass unemployment benefits scam. Phishing and social engineering tactics were used, as scammers called using the public identities of individuals, asking for a quote from the insurance company. During this process, they were able to obtain the driver’s license numbers
Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits Claims Spike During COVID-19 Shutdowns
The breach at American Family Insurance is not an isolated incident, as scammers have taken advantage of the nationwide scramble for unemployment benefits. Earlier this year, GEICO experienced a similar breach, where fraudsters accessed clients’ driver’s license numbers using individual personal information from an unconfirmed outside source.
Attackers are not necessarily U.S. based, as we were able to see with the Washington State unemployment scam, where millions were stolen by Scattered Canary, a Nigeria-based group of hackers. While we may not know the source of the attacks on American Family Insurance, there are steps to take if you receive a notice of potential breach:
- First thing is to check whether you actually did request a quote between February 6th and March 19th of this year, you are not affected by the breach.
- If you did not request a quote in this window of time, you have been affected by the breach and should contact the appropriate state unemployment department immediately.
- Protect yourself with identity theft monitoring to make sure that no other fraudulent claims or accounts have been made in your name (i.e. bank accounts, credit cards, etc.)
Unemployment fraud is only one of many acts of cybercrime that have been on the rise throughout the world since the beginning of the pandemic, as we saw in Indian cybercrime statistics. Learning safe internet practices as well as paying closer attention to your financial records are the first steps to keep your information and money safe. Be careful where you enter your credit card information and scrutinize emails before clicking on any links.
Here are a few of our online safety guidelines and tips: