BALTIMORE (June 21, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Labor (Labor) today announced that the department has detected over 508,000 fraudulent new unemployment insurance claims since the beginning of May.
“With fraudulent activity rampant in unemployment insurance programs across the country, Maryland has consistently adapted and added new security measures to prevent, detect, and report fraud,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “In fact, an astonishing 1.3 million claims flagged by the state have been confirmed as fraudulent since the beginning of the pandemic, with over 508,000 being detected in the last month and a half alone.”
With the record number of unemployment insurance claims filed and the additional federal benefits available during the COVID-19 pandemic, states have combated bad actors and fraudsters using illegally obtained data to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.
“As the economy recovers and states across the country continue to opt out of the federal benefits programs, bad actors are becoming more brazen and aggressive in their attempts to exploit unemployment insurance programs than ever before,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “I strongly encourage all Marylanders to remain especially vigilant in the coming weeks to protect themselves against scams and identity theft.”
Over 508,000 Potentially Fraudulent Claims Detected Since May
In partnership with LexisNexis, the vendor selected through a competitive procurement process to provide identity verification and fraud detection services, it has been determined that 508,079 potentially fraudulent claims have been filed since the week ending May 8.
|Week Ending Date||Number of Fraudulent Claims Detected|
Over 1.3 Million Claims Flagged and Investigated Confirmed as Fraudulent
With aggressive security measures in place, Labor continues to investigate potentially fraudulent in-state and out-of-state claims. To date, 1,344,599 (92.23%) of claims flagged and investigated have been confirmed as fraudulent.
- Of the 339,083 out-of-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 317,545 (93.65%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.
- Of the 1,118,829 in-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 1,027,054 (91.80%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.
- Of the 1,457,912 total claims flagged, there are 37,088 (2.54%) in-state and out-of-state potentially fraudulent claims pending review.
*Note that these numbers are subject to change as the department continues to flag potentially fraudulent claims. Labor continues to coordinate its investigation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Report Unemployment Insurance Fraud
If you believe that your information has been used to fraudulently file an unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Benefit Payment Control Unit by completing a “Request for Investigation of Unemployment Insurance Fraud” form and e-mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, please read the Maryland State Police’s (MSP) Identity Theft Protection Quick Guide to find additional resources and learn more about the next steps you should take to protect your identity. For additional information about avoiding unemployment insurance scams, including those on social media, visit MSP’s press release.
If an employer believes a fraudulent claim has been charged to their account, they should immediately file a benefit charge protest through their BEACON employer portal. The department will investigate their protest and will remove charges that are deemed fraudulent. For additional assistance, employers can contact the Employer Call Center by calling 410-949-0033. For more information, visit MDunemployment.com.