The Secret Service is finally taking down fraudsters who are abusing the welfare system amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to a new report by The Hill, The Secret Service has detected a large-scale foreign attack on the U.S. unemployment system that is processing record numbers of jobless claims amid the pandemic. The massive fraud ring will reportedly lead to “potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The attackers are reportedly using previously obtained Social Security numbers and other personal information to claim unemployment benefits illegally. And they’re about to get caught.
Roy Dotson, a special agent who specializes in financial fraud at the Secret Service, said in an interview with investigators obtained by the New York Times that new investigation has been launched and the criminals will be tracked down:
“We are actively running down every lead we are getting.”
Mr. Dotson claims that the fraud is aided by a substantial number of “mules” — people in the United States who are working as intermediaries for money laundering. It’s an inside job.
Dotson then warned people to be wary of quick-money job offers or other suspicious financial arrangements.
The Secret Service has also released a memo regarding the situation, stating that it appears as if the attackers have a huge list of information about citizens’ personally identifiable information, or P.I.I., and that anyone could be their next victim:
“It is assumed the fraud ring behind this possess a substantial P.I.I. database to submit the volume of applications observed thus far.”
“This is a gut punch,” Suzi LeVine, the commissioner of the Washington State Employment Security Department, told the The New York Times, in reference to the fact that these scammers would have the audacity to strike the public when so many people are vulnerable from the economic shakiness caused by the virus.
Cracking Down On Fraud
This Secret Service investigation was announced just weeks after Attorney General William Barr announced that the Justice Department would personally go after anyone caught trying to illegally profit from Coronavirus.
Barr said that he wanted to go after scammers who were caught taking advantage of the situation:
“The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated.”
Thankfully, this is one area that the government is good at resolving. It’s very likely that these scammers will end up paying for their crimes.
Do YOU think the scammers deserve jail time? Comment below!