Unemployment Fraud Attempts Escalate In Md.

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The Maryland Department of Labor said Monday it has found more than half-a-million fraudulent unemployment claims in the last six weeks. A total of 1.3-million fraudulent claims have been flagged in Maryland since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Larry Hogan said the state has been adding new security measures to prevent, detect and report fraud.

“As the economy recovers and states across the country continue to opt out of the federal benefits programs, bad actors are becoming more brazen and aggressive in their attempts to exploit unemployment insurance programs than ever before,” Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson said. “I strongly encourage all Marylanders to remain especially vigilant in the coming weeks to protect themselves against scams and identity theft.”

The Maryland Department of Labor also provided these resources:

If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Benefit Payment Control Unit by completing a “Request for Investigation of Unemployment Insurance Fraud” form and emailing it to ui.fraud@maryland.gov.

If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, please read the Maryland State Police’s (MSP) Identity Theft Protection Quick Guide to find additional resources and learn more about the next steps you should take to protect your identity. For additional information about avoiding unemployment insurance scams, including those on social media, visit MSP’s press release.

If an employer believes a fraudulent claim has been charged to their account, they should immediately file a benefit charge protest through their BEACON employer portal. The department will investigate their protest and will remove charges that are deemed fraudulent. For additional assistance, employers can contact the Employer Call Center by calling 410-949-0033. For more information, visit MDunemployment.com.

Meineke