MAYS LANDING- In observance of INTERNATIONAL FRAUD AWARENESS WEEK the ACPO FINANCIAL CRIMES UNIT cautions the public to be wary of one of the latest scams that are centered on one of the most recent events occurring in the U.S. — the Covid-19 pandemic.
A huge spike has been seen in fraud complaints due to the pandemic. Unemployment claims have been filed in record numbers this year, but there has also been great rise in fake unemployment claims filed through identity theft. Perpetrators stole the identity of numerous individuals by using birthdates and social security numbers not belonging to them to file and receive benefit claims.
Scammers use phishing emails or links to trick you into sharing personal identifying information like a Social Security number, bank and credit card information, and other sensitive data that could assist in committing frauds such as identity theft. Be cautious of these links or emails. Fake websites may encourage you to click on another dangerous link that could download malicious software, such as ransomware. PLEASE REMEMBER: NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY will ever ask you for personal information by phone or email. Unemployment WILL NOT contact you and ask you to file for benefits. If you need to file for benefits you will take the initiative and make the phone call yourself or apply online at their official government website.
If you are a victim of Unemployment Fraud call the Unemployment Fraud Hotline at 609 777-4304 or go to the New Jersey Department of Labor Workforce Development website https://www.nj.gov/labor/aboutlwd/index.shtml#fraud. If you know or believe your identity has been compromised you will want to make your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.IdentityTheft.gov and also your local police department.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477(TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.