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I was the Target of Fraud w/John Barker
Episode 13213th June 2022 • The Business Samurai • John Barker
00:00:00 00:08:31

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John Barker was the target of a fraud scam plaguing the Virginia Unemployment Commission. The fraudsters were trying to get funds in my name via a direct depost.

Listen to the quick story and the steps that I took to verify that this was a fraud, that the information I received was legitimate and the steps that I took to protect myself moving forward.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Transcripts

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Hey, everyone.

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It's kind of a interesting kind of troubling thing that's happened

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in the, in the past week kind of been dealing with and monitoring.

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Apparently I have been, uh, the target.

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Uh, fraud with the Virginia employment commission.

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Uh, last week got three letters in the mail, all on the same, all on

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the same day that, uh, said I had filed for unemployment insurance.

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So the way that, uh, the way the letters came in.

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uh, you get one that kind of breaks down all of your income from the

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previous calendar year, or I guess at a minimum, at least the last, uh,

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four quarters, you get one letter that kind of explains how the program

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functions, and then you get another letter that explains, uh, or that gives

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you a pin to, to log onto the website.

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You cannot log onto the website to do this.

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So.

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Obviously I did not file Virginia unemployment insurance, and I wanted

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to make sure that payment had not been processed or in the, in the,

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in the works of getting processed.

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So cause on the, on the form in very fine print, it shows that whoever set this

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up, it sets it up for direct deposit.

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So that was kind of, uh, you know, interesting.

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Initially I was like thinking it was gonna be checks, but on

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the form it says direct deposit.

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To ensure that this was not some sort of very sophisticated, uh, fishing campaign,

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some sort of social engineering attack.

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I went, I did.

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You know, even though these have looked very official, I filed business taxes in

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the past, you know, regularly I've seen inf what some of the letters come from

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from the state looks very official, but I still went to the website to kind of

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start matching up information, you know, did the phone numbers on, on the forms

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match the information on the website?

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Just, just to be, uh, be sure.

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So.

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It all matched.

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Like I still, uh, I called them the lady, uh, from the, from Richmond and an office

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was very nice, uh, filed the fraud.

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over the phone for me.

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I didn't have to, Deb, they've got a full website set up for this, that apparently

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this happened so frequently, um, that if you, if somebody does this and, and during

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my research, I did see that at least since 2020, the number of fraudulent claims.

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Have have skyrocketed with other people, having, you know, some entities out

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there filing unemployment insurance in their names, and that didn't happen.

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The other thing that was weird is, uh, at least with this process, we've

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moved, uh, uh, twice in the past.

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In the past year we sold our house.

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We moved into a temporary, uh, housing.

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While we were waiting for the new house to finish construction and

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have been in the new construction home for almost a year now.

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And the, the addresses that were submitted for this, uh, a week and

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a half, two weeks ago, from what they told me of when it was actually

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submitted was from two addresses ago.

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Wasn't even like where we were at, you know, during the early part of last

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year or the new house for the past year, this was, this was two addresses ago.

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So I don't know if there's some sort of public.

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That's being utilized for people to do this.

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Uh, my from just really cursory, uh, look, cuz I was concerned that, you

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know, there's other PII that's out there.

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That's not just name, date of birth and address, which are quite frankly pretty

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easy to look up, uh, that there was some other, you know, social, you know, in

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particular driver's license number, you know, whatever else could be hanging out

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there is needed to require to, to file.

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And it looks like it was just.

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Employment information, you know, name, address, employment information.

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So they couldn't tell me or couldn't, wouldn't tell me, you

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know, um, they just said, Hey, we filed the, the, the fraud report.

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Here's the confirmation number.

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You don't need to do anything else.

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So the other thing that I did as an additional step, because I don't know,

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I don't know, is, is this, you know, am I starting to look at full blown

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identity theft and there's gonna be, uh, credit re you know, credit cards

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open in my name, somebody's trying to take out loans, things of that nature.

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You know, one of the recommendations was to freeze your credit.

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I did not take the steps of freezing my credit.

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I did.

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Because I, I do SU obviously with this, this is absolutely fraud.

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I did not do this.

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I did enable.

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Uh, fraud, uh, additional fraud alerting with all the credit agencies.

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So I pulled the credit report just to make sure nothing else had been

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opened in the, or attempted to be opened the last couple weeks.

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I, you know, the, the credit cards I've looked, there's no other charges on them,

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so it doesn't look like anybody, at least to this point has, you know, has my credit

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card information and tried to, you know, tried to use those to for purchases.

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Um, but I did enable, um, Additional fraud monitoring that if you file it with one

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credit agency, after I had to go through a bunch of hoops to get that activated,

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it will trickle around to all of them.

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And I've actually been over the last few days, getting the alert, saying,

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Hey, we, we noticed you've turned this on we're we're starting to monitor so

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that this is well, um, so apparently I don't know if this comes from the, uh,

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uh, was that ex, uh, which agency had the, the major breach a couple years ago.

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Uh, If they, uh,

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You can turn on fraud monitoring for one year.

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If you have proof that you have been, uh, uh, you know, like a police report or

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something from the FBI, they'll turn on this enhanced fraud monitoring again for

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not just a year, but up to seven years.

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And then of course you can, I believe pay to freeze your credit.

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So anyway, just, uh, I thought it was, uh, interesting thing this first time

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I've had something like this happen.

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You know, at some point, if you purchase something online credit card,

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information's been leaked, you know, I've had to change credit cards out, but to

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have somebody, you know, officially file something with, with the state and , you

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know, I get all these letters in the mail.

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Um, that's, uh, a full blown fraud report I found to be interesting.

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So just kind of public service announcement be on, you know,

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be on the lookout Def definitely regular check your credit report.

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If you get something that looks weird, um, even in the.

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You know, definitely.

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I think hopefully most everybody is familiar getting this stuff in email,

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you know, you don't trust the source.

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I've seen some very, very, uh, sophisticated, uh, fishing

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campaigns that have taken full signature blocks, duplicated them

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and changed like an I to an L.

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And.

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I, I kid you not I'm glance, you wouldn't notice it.

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And to the point where they actually purchased the domain that matched that.

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So they were really trying to pull off.

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It was, it was very advanced.

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It was one of the most advanced ones I had seen last year.

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So if you, if you feel like something's weird, something's out of tone from what

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you normally see from another person.

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Look it up, ask first before just clicking everything before, before calling and

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handing over a bunch of information and that's, you know, you'll have yourself

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better protected than just blindly following instructions with, with when

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you get something kind of out of the blue.

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That was unexpected.