Incidents of identity theft related to unemployment fraud are on the rise. Bad actors are increasingly exploiting the pandemic financially. One scenario is to steal someone’s identity and apply for unemployment benefits in the victim’s name, with the benefits deposited in an account accessible only to the perpetrator. If you have received a notice from the state of Massachusetts about an application for unemployment benefits which you did not file, it is urgent that you notify both the college and the state immediately. The scheme, which is already affecting members of our community, is detailed in a report from the US Secret Service.
The Massachusetts State Police are aware of this scam, which is widespread across the state and nation. They are vigorously investigating the scheme, but do not yet know how people's information was obtained. They have confirmed, however, that the identity theft did not happen through any Amherst College systems.
Falling for a scam could cost you money and time. Play it safe! Forward suspicious messages to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or contact AskIT@amherst.edu if you have additional concerns. Watch this page for further information.