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Fraud Overwhelms Pandemic-Related Unemployment Programs

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A man walks past a "Now Hiring" sign on a window at Sherwin Williams store, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Woodmere Village, Ohio. Massive fraud in the nation's unemployment system is raising alarms even as President Joe Biden and Congress prepare to pour hundreds of billions more into expanded benefits for those left jobless by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP) — Massive fraud in the nation’s unemployment system is raising alarms even as President Joe Biden and Congress prepare to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into expanded benefits.

A government watchdog agency says that as of December, nearly two dozen states had not started using a key system to block fraud. An Associated Press review finds that many states will not even publicly acknowledge the extent of the problem.

Attempts to combat fraud are causing delays for people who legitimately need unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. Others have become victims of identity theft.

 

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