In the US state of Maryland, authorities have discovered a criminal scheme that involved more than 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Governor Larry Hogan reports that the total amount in claims surpassed $501 million.

Authorities spotted the scheme during the July 4th weekend, when they noticed an influx of out-of-state Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims. It’s unclear as to who’s behind the scheme. The perpetrators could come from a domestic organized crime ring, an international organized crime ring, or elsewhere. A federal investigation is underway.

Similar unemployment insurance fraud cases have been discovered in 12 other US states. “We will…do whatever it takes to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” stated Hogan.

Cyber attackers have capitalized on the fear, anxiety and much needed operational haste surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. “We’ve seen a…huge uptick in Covid-related attacks since the pandemic began,” says cyber security expert, Maya Levine.

One of the ways in which hackers manage to impersonate others is through credential theft.  Be sure that each of your online accounts has a unique password. This minimizes the potential for cyber attackers to open multiple online accounts that belong to you, and to leverage sensitive personal information for their own gain.

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