Washington Unemployment system lost hundreds of millions of dollars to Nigerian fraud

in fraud •  3 months ago 


Due to Covid-19, Washington has been paying out enhanced unemployment benefits. The enhanced unemployment benefits consist of an extra $600 a week.

Seeing an opportunity, a Nigerian crime ring named Scattered Canary started to send thousands of applications for unemployment using stolen personal information. Employment Security Department Commissioner estimates they made off with "hundreds of millions of dollars" before the attack was identified.

It is believed the same organization has been doing similar attacks on Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. They are also responsible for stealing funds from the IRS CARES Act.

A lot of these fraudulent applications could have been avoided if they paid attention to the warning signs such as out-of-state banks and suspicious emails. It is believed the hackers filed hundreds of claims per Gmail account.

The hackers took advantage of Government pressure to ship checks quickly and reduced staffing amidst the Covid-19 crisis. Scattered Canary has a history of cybercrime attacking unemployment, disaster relief, social security, and student aid over the course of 10+ years.

Scattered Canary has been using Green Dot prepaid cards to collect payments. One of the advantages of Green Dot prepaid cards is the ability to receive payment up to four days prior to payment.

You can read the Secret Service Brief here

Securely chat with me on Keybase

Why you should vote me as witness

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

That sucks, we will see more and more of these in this pandemic situation

Thats fucked!

Taking advantage of the corruption in the unemployment benefits department as well. Every time I hear another story of how they bend the rules for one person, and not others, I cringe. How many times are special exceptions made, someone turns a blind eye to obvious fraud because a supervisor says it is for a good cause?

Wow that is crazy. Thats a lot of money. The scams never stop they just keep getting reinvented and creating a new. Stayi g on top of them is a nightmare. the rush to keep money flowing to people to avoid additional hardships really worked in the scammers favor in this case.

@themarkymark although crime doesn't know Country or region, crime is being committed in all parts of the world. There is no justification for crime what so ever, no matter how little. The Scattered Canary have used the opportunity of unemployment to defraud the Washington state of a lot of money. Accessing personal details of people without their consent is a criminal act. I just hope these guys get arrested soon. They are really tarnishing the image of the Country. Why not work and get the money in a legal way just like a normal human being will do.


This guys are going to be in trouble now. It was stupid of them to target the US government directly.

They been doing it for over 10 years

Seriously? Sometimes taking shortcuts doesn't pay. I need to read this now. I had no idea.


🎁 Hi @themarkymark! You have received 0.1 HIVE tip from @dswigle!

@dswigle wrote lately about: Let There Be Nature Feel free to follow @dswigle if you like it :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide.

I mean where does this Canary perpetrates this crime From? Taking advantage of things like unemployment to defraud the government and stuff really gives a terrible image to his nationality at large

They obviously don't care about their nation. They care about themselves.

Which is quite painful... because they make social trust so hard for the real ones..

And you’d be right. There is quite a bit distrust because of that.

Why am I not surprised. talk about someone being stupid and letting it slip through the cracks. I understand the heavy work load but surely certain things should stand out as fairly obvious.

Lmfao.. only the American government could be so stupid.

Scammers 1, USA 0

At least it wasn't that nigerian prince who keeps emailing me asking to send 10k to unfreeze his bank account.

I live in Washington State and my info was taken by someone who filed an unemployment claim in my name. Currently living the dream of police reports, putting fraud alerts on my credit and filing identity theft paperwork with the IRS. Just found out Friday. 😭😭😭

A long time ago I set up my credit cards to email me whenever they are used. It's a really handy feature even if you never get anything stolen, you have better understanding of what is going on. Most of the time I get a notification on my phone before they even give me a receipt to sign.

It is really sad that during these times of distress the fraudsters won't really stop and will push themselves to the highest level because they will have to need more money. Employment that should supposed to be given to the American Citizens will then be outsourced offshore for more cost-cutting measures.

Though I am working in the Business Process Outsourcing companies and should feel lucky about it, I still feel sad that unemployment rate will still rise and the benefits given to those who are unemployed might be lessened.

Good to see you here on Hive sir. Enjoy the rest of the week.

It is quite sad to see such happening, i pray the person get locked-up. This fraudsters have continued to deface the country giving us bad reputation.

Very crafty them Nigerian scammers they are always into everything leaving a sad trail along the way were others should have got it for the real means karma will prevail upon them 😣