Id theft – particularly linked to unemployment – jumped to astronomical ranges final 12 months in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, in response to knowledge from Allstate Id Safety (AIP) – Allstate Insurance coverage’s identification theft insurance coverage enterprise.
The report discovered that unemployment fraud in 2020 elevated by greater than 17,000%. Tax fraud additionally elevated final 12 months, by 258% greater than 2019. AIP has warned that each are prone to proceed rising, with unemployment fraud circumstances anticipated to greater than triple in 2021.
Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment fraud accounted for under a small fraction of all identification theft circumstances; in AIP’s case, it solely accounted for lower than 0.1% of the fraud circumstances it handles. Nonetheless, it now represents about 70% of the fraud circumstances resolved by AIP.
AIP additionally famous that for the reason that begin of the pandemic, the Division of Labor has estimated that scammers have collected $36 billion in fraudulent unemployment insurance coverage claims. Fraudsters sometimes exploit state-run unemployment insurance coverage platforms which are swamped by 1000’s of claims.
“Cybercriminals are all the time discovering new methods to make use of folks’s private data to get entry to cash,” mentioned AIP vp of product Lewis Bertolucci. “These new techniques, like unemployment fraud, pop up shortly and are getting tougher to resolve.”
Bertolucci added that it’s not sufficient for customers to rely solely on their banks or free credit score companies to guard themselves from fraud; it is going to require specialised experience and even reimbursement protection to resolves such points.