COVID-19 was an excellent opportunity for scammers
More than $45B in fraudulent benefits collected during pandemic
In the United States, scammers committed more than $ 45 billion in insurance fraud during the corona pandemic. They illegally received unemployment benefits, including by using Social Security numbers of deceased people. This is reported by the US federal regulator.
The criminals used more than 205,000 Social Security numbers of deceased people, according to The Washington Post. Also, criminals filed unemployment claims in multiple states, which allowed them to receive money from more than one state.
The Trump administration introduced the aid program in 2020, with the goal of supporting households that had become unemployed due to the corona pandemic. In the first five months of the pandemic, more than 57 million families took advantage of the scheme, receiving weekly benefits. But soon it turned out that criminals were also targeting the program.
The regulator initially thought that fraud had been committed for about 16 billion dollars, but recently announced that it was probably a higher amount. Even now, the regulator warns that not all fraud may be in the picture, and that the amount may therefore be higher again.