NYS Dept. of Labor warns of online unemployment fraud

by PDM STAFF

“An online fraudster commits online fraud or identity theft | Photo by Patrick Cannon via Flickr/Creative Commons

NEW YORK – The New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) has noted that in the past 13 months, fraudsters are using phishing tactics to lure victims into calling fraudulent phone numbers, submitting personal information to fraudulent websites, and downloading malicious content. They pose as NYS DOL through fake emails, text messages, social media accounts, and websites.

Despite its efforts to stop unemployment fraud and protect New Yorkers from identity theft, fraudsters continue to resort to new methods to steal identifying information and collect benefits fraudulently. The DOL has provided information on protecting your identity and ensuring that the real claimant receives the benefits that a person is entitled to.

For more information on how to report fraud, please click here.

How to spot fraud

Fraudsters use phishing tactics to lure claimants into calling fraudulent phone numbers, submitting personal information to fraudulent websites, and downloading malicious content. Watch out for fraudsters posing as NYS DOL through fake emails, text messages, social media accounts, and websites. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Text messages from NYS DOL will only come from the numbers 468311 or 22751. NYS DOL representatives will never reach out through text messages. NYS DOL will never text you are requesting your driver’s license information, Social Security number, banking information, or NY.gov login information.
  • On social media, look out for the blue “verified” checkmark next to NYS DOL’s social media accounts. NYS DOL representatives will never reach out through social media. NYS DOL will never message you are requesting your driver’s license information, Social Security number, banking information, or NY.gov login information.
  • Lookalike websites are being created to fool New Yorkers into submitting their personal information. Before entering your information into any website, check that the web address at the top of the browser is a New York State address. Note: DOL also uses ID.me and DocuSign for secure verification purposes.

Protect your information

If you clicked on a fraudulent link or gave your personal information to a fraudster, immediately take the following actions:

  1. Change your NY.gov password
  2. Change your PIN number
  3. Update your banking information in your online account
  4. Virus scans your device and delete suspicious emails, and text messagesFraudsters may also attempt to extort you. You should not pay fraudsters in cash or bitcoin in
    exchange for your unemployment benefits. Report any attempts at extortion to law enforcement and NYS DOL.

Verify your identity

NYS DOL has recently implemented ID.me, a secure online technology that will allow New Yorkers to safely submit their identification documentation and receive benefits faster while stopping fraudsters from receiving benefits they are not entitled to. DOL will notify you if you are required to submit your documentation via ID.me. For more information, visit on.ny.gov/idmeguide1.

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