Secret Service investigating a crime ring inundating unemployment offices with fake claims

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The US Secret Service says it is investigating a Nigerian crime ring that has been using Americans’ stolen identities to file fraudulently for unemployment benefits, according to Krebs on Security. Authorities say members of the ring were able to exploit weak security measures within many states’ unemployment systems at a time when millions of Americans are applying for benefits.

The agency sent a memo to field offices late last week which said the Nigeria-based ring appeared to be using a “substantial” database of stolen personal information, much of it from first responders, government personnel, and school employees, according to Krebs. The Secret Service said the fraudsters’ primary target was Washington State, with evidence of…

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