Warning Issues About A New Scam Targeting The Unemployed In Illinois

A new scam has surfaced targeting people who are out of work. CBS 2's Tara Molina talked to an expert who has a warning about a growing number of fake emails and texts.

Video Transcript

- Well, one of the fallouts from the pandemic, unemployment and unemployment scams. An expert told our Tara Molina, as claims go down, scams go up. She has investigated these issues for more than a year now. And Tara, they're primarily phishing scams now.

TARA MOLINA: Erica, phishing scams, texts, and emails. They're targeting a specific group of people. And the expert we talked to today say it's because they're paying out the most right now. These are the most recent phishing schemes we're told are targeting those who are unemployed now or were unemployed at some point during the pandemic. Emails and even a text, contributing to the continued fraud problem. We talked to a partner at Personnel Planners, a third party vendor that helps clients process unemployment claims. Just last week, he says over 20% of their claims were fraudulent.

OFER ECKSTEIN: Unemployment has been the easiest target right now. It's also the target that pays out the most at the moment.

TARA MOLINA: We've tracked phishing scams for months, with another scam email just sent to our station's tip line. So what's the state doing about it? A spokesperson for IDES called these confirmation that bad actors are still working to defraud unemployment insurance systems nationwide, warning never to click on links sent in emails or texts. That state spokesperson didn't say specifically what they're doing at the state level to combat this kind of fraud. But did say they're warning legitimate claimants of these rising scams. Erica.

- Tara, we know people should be wary of these emails and text. Is there anything else they should be keeping their eye out for?

TARA MOLINA: Well with these scams continuing to increase, we're seeing new scams every single day. The expert we talked to said employers should be taking a role in this and be incredibly vigilant when those claims come into their offices.

- Right. Tara Molina, thank you.