As much as 50% of the stimulus unemployment money may have been stolen, Axios reports
- A fraud-detection service CEO told Axios that 50% of
stimulusunemployment may have been stolen.
- This follows a report that found $39 billion in unemployment money was wasted, partly due to
- Stimulus checks were also stolen during the pandemic, prompting calls for better oversight.
From direct stimulus payments to
And on May 28, the Office of the Inspector General found that $39 billion in unemployment money from the 2020 CARES Act had been wasted, partly due to failures in detecting fraud and improper payments.So how are scammers managing to carry out this fraud?
Axios reported that they often steal people's personal information to withdraw money, and "mules," or low-level criminals, are given debit cards to withdraw that money from ATMs, which then gets transferred abroad.Given that some Democrats are pushing for additional recurring stimulus payments and unemployment benefits, fraud will need to be addressed moving forward, according to the OIG. The office recommended more modernized technology to better detect fraudulent payments, along with working with states to help process claims. But as a growing number of GOP-led states are ending unemployment benefits early to encourage people to get back to work, any further extension of unemployment benefits looks unlikely. President Joe
"A temporary boost in unemployment benefits that we enacted helped people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and who still may be in the process of getting vaccinated," the president said in brief remarks after the May jobs report. "But it's going to expire in 90 days. It makes sense it expires in 90 days."
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