Updated: March 1, 2021
Scammers in Nigeria have stolen over $100 million COVID-19 relief money from unemployed Americans with the U.S. Secret Service warning that the organized scam ring from Nigeria has been using stolen personal information to apply for unemployment benefits in various states.
Krebs reported Mid-May that Washington State has been the biggest target, with claims also submitted in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Florida.
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According to Krebs, the Secret Service issued a warning in a memo circulated in May.
It warns that the scammers appear to have a large database of personal information they are using to apply for benefits.
The COVID-19 scheme is similar to another, already prevalent attack, in which scammers use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent federal income tax returns and collect other people’s refunds.