As a Senior Center Director, and now in my late 50's, I find myself constantly on the lookout for trends that benefit the senior community. Sadly, I have been following a destructive trend in the past week that has me on high alert. When I recieved one phone call from a senior, I thought it was a fluke. When the fourth call came in, it became a disheartening pattern.
As if the world couldn't get more more confusing, it has recently come to my attention that a financial plague" has struck individuals all over the country. I am talking about the rash of unemployment claims being made in the names of folks who have not requested benefits. It's frightening to receive a notice in the mail asking if you have found employment or need to renew your benefits when you never initiated the process nor have you been receiving benefits. Or worse yet, when you are retired and have not worked for a number of years. They have your social security number, place of previous or current employment and rate of pay. What is going on?
It is of little consolation, I know, but if this has happened to you in recent months, you are not alone. It happened to my family. According to the Federal Trade Commission, "In a large-scale scam erupting in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits, using the names and personal information of people who have not filed claims. People learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer about their supposed application for benefits. If this happens to you, it means someone is misusing your personal information, including your Social Security number and date of birth. Act fast." (consumer.ftc.gov)
Here are the steps suggested to help protect your finances and your credit: