Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, hackers have developed new tools and strategies to obtain personal information and scam internet users. Some popular forms of scamming include luring users to Dark Net sites advertising Covid vaccines and hacking into work remote desktops to steal company, employee and client information.
Hackers are also stealing social security numbers and redirecting unemployment checks to fraudulent accounts. They obtain the SSN through stealing purses or wallets, rummaging through trash, or by hacking into home or work IT systems.
Hackers with a stolen social security number may open up credit cards damaging the credit of the victim; they may redirect IRS tax refunds to hacker accounts; and they may cause a host of other financial transaction troubles.
Although many of these tactics are not new to the coronavirus pandemic and its related shutdowns, there have been recent reports of fraud relating to unemployment benefits. According to pa.gov, anyone who receives a paper check in the mail and did not file for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania should not cash the checks. The checks should be returned to:
Department of Treasury Comptroller’s Office
Attn: Mark Accorsi
Room 113, Finance Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
And anyone who receives a direct deposit and did not file for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania should not use the funds. The funds should be returned to:
Department of Labor & Industry
651 Boas St., Room 500
Harrisburg, PA 17121
If you feel your social security number has been compromised, look up your Social Security Statement at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to confirm the hack. If you find that you have been hacked, report it to the Social Security Administration through IdentityTheft.gov.
For more information, visit https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Labor-and-Industry-Details.aspx?newsid=459