Nevada’s COVID-19 Task Force recently has received reports suggesting that personal identifying information of some present and past Nevada residents is being used to file fraudulent applications for unemployment benefits.
Potential victims typically learn of these suspected unlawful activities when either they receive a letter from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation relating to an application for benefits they never sought and/or their employer receives a similar notification from DETR.
“This task force was formed to fight fraud and prosecute those using COVID-19 for their own financial gain,” Attorney General Aaron Ford said. “Thousands of Nevadans have lost their jobs and are facing extreme financial hardship. I urge Nevadans affected by or with information about fraudulent unemployment applications to file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and DETR.”
“The COVID-19 Fraud Task Force is committed to protecting the integrity of the unemployment benefits program,” U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich said. “We will continue working closely with our law enforcement partners and colleagues on the Task Force to safeguard the program for Nevadans facing difficult situations who need our help.”
Individuals who believe that someone is fraudulently using their identity to apply for unemployment benefits should file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov and to DETR’s Fraud Report. Nevada’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force is working with DETR to assess the problem. No further information about the details of the investigation will be provided at this time because it is ongoing.
The COVID-19 Task Force is comprised of local, state and federal investigators and prosecutors with significant experience in handling complaints and cases related to general fraud, heath care fraud, Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud and cybercrime, among others. Together, they have been sharing information and resources to protect Nevadans from those using the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of consumers.
The task force reminds residents never to give out personal or financial information over the phone, thoroughly review all financial statements for any unusual activity and shred or destroy credit card statements, bills, insurance papers or bank statements before throwing them out.
Nevadans should not carry a Social Security Card in a wallet and should be wary of anyone calling to “confirm” personal or financial information. Often, these are criminals trying to obtain those facts under the guise of “confirmation.”
Check credit reports, banking information and medical information that may have details that need to be removed or secured; do not provide or validate your personal information from contacts not initiated by you, protect and update passwords to your online accounts regularly and remove old accounts and passwords that are no longer in use.
If you think an identity thief is using your Social Security number, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271.