Scam Alert! Unemployment

This blog was originally posted on October 13, 2020 but has been updated recently to reflect current trends, November 15, 2022.

With this latest wave of unemployment also comes more opportunities for unemployment SCAMS, too. According to the Federal Trade Commission Americans lost over $94M to business and job opportunity fraud in Q2 of 2022. Criminals are targeting people in a vulnerable state and they are doing it in multiple ways. Below are a few scams to be aware of:

US Postal Service and Phishing Emails

In addition to phishing emails, criminals have gone “old school” to get their scams hand delivered. They know that people are religiously checking their mail boxes waiting for their unemployment benefits or their letters on the status of their claims.

What you’ll receive is an “official” looking letter asking for you to either log into a fake website or call a phone number to verify your information in order to get your claims approved. They may even threaten to deny your unemployment in the hopes that you will act fast!

If you think you've been a victim of an unemployment scam, report it at

Phone calls and Text/SMS Messages

With these scams, you will receive a text or call telling you that your benefits or the card you receive funds on have been suspended. In order to get things fixed, you’ll need to provide personal information, debit card numbers, and even PIN numbers.

Note - Most unemployment insurance programs will NOT contact you through text messages!

Check out this fake text message:


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Insider Threats

According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, insider threat incidents have increased 44% in the past two years with costs per incident totalling $15.4M. While it's not an easy topic to speak about within a company, it is a reality to be on the lookout for with proper precautions in place as well as hotlines and staff training to identify signs.

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Learn how Wizer makes training your staff to identify insider threats and other potential incidents through our 1-minute, viral training videos here.

Submitting A Claim On Your Behalf

Yes, people are filing for unemployment...under someone else’s name. If you get any questionable mail or message that is actually from your state department, call them immediately! For more information, visit the US Department of Labor website dealing with reporting Unemployment Identity Theft.

Job Seeker Scams

There is no better time than while someone is out of work and filling out tons of job applications to try and snag a few victims. Some are fake from the “get go” and all of your information is submitted to the scammer. Others will ask you for an interview in a strange way, like through Google Hangouts, whil still others will ask for financial information right up front. Some will go the easy route and just email you with a fake link or attachment.

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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! #StayWizer