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Fraud Alert: Unemployment Payment Scam

These are tough times, with many confused and uncertain about their financial future. It is at times like this that scammers are the most active, and we have to pay special attention to make ourselves less vulnerable.
According to the U.S. Secret Service, a well-organized Nigerian crime ring is committing large-scale fraud against state unemployment insurance programs. The fraud network is believed to consist of hundreds of “mules,” willing or unwitting individuals, who are recruited to help launder the proceeds of fraudulent financial transactions. 

Here’s how it’s happening: 

Individuals are receiving multiple automatic deposits from state unemployment insurance programs. In almost every case, the deposits were made in the name of a person who had no connection to the account holder. Although the primary state targeted is Washington; there is also evidence of attacks happening in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming.

If you receive an unexpected automatic deposit consider the following:  

  • Are you eligible to receive the funds? 
  • Is the deposit from a state you reside in or is it from out-of-state?
  • Is the name listed on the deposit that of someone other than yourself?
  • Did you receive a phone call or email asking you to forward/withdraw all or part of the funds to send to someone else?
  • Have you been told you can keep part of the funds?
  • Have you been told not to let your bank know why you are withdrawing these funds?
  • Were you a previous victim of an internet scam? 
If you received an unexpected automatic deposit, especially from a state unemployment program, and answered yes to any of these questions, contact Great Western Bank immediately. 

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