Credit unions in Washington have received reports from members who were credited unrequested deposits from the Washington State Employment Security Department. Washington has been heavily targeted but similar fraud is taking place across the U.S. As part of this scam, individuals residing out-of-state are receiving multiple ACH deposits from the State of Washington Unemployment Benefit Program, all in different individuals’ names with no connection to the account holder.
A substantial amount of the fraudulent benefits submitted have used personally identifiable information from first responders, government personnel and school employees. The banks targeted have been at all levels including local banks, credit unions, and large national banks.
The United States Secret Service believes this fraud is part of a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to commit large-scale fraud against state unemployment insurance programs.
For additional information about this scam and next steps to take should you believe your identity may have been compromised in relation to an unemployment benefits claim, click here. If you receive unexpected benefit payments to your account, please contact the credit union immediately.