It seems that any time there's a national event, there's a scam that immediately arises to pray on people's fears related to that situation. In comes a warning from New York's Attorney General Letitia James who has issued an unemployment benefits fraud alert.

Recent scams involve scammers who have access to detailed databases filled with stolen personal information on state residents. That information is used to file for unemployment benefits which end up in the scammer's hands. It's a case of stolen identities.

This latest fraud has come to light through the New York State Department of Labor who reaches out to the person applying for the benefits with the real person saying they did not apply. So a scammer is using their personal information to apply as them. If you get a call from the NYS Labor Dept. and didn't apply for benefits, it's possible your identity has been stolen.

If you suspect you have been a victim of this scam, report it to your employer and to the NYS Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Program. Victims can also file a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General or call 1-800-771-7755.

James says, "Remember to always be suspicious of anyone who calls you over the phone seeking money or personal information. If you owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in writing that identifies the agency and the reason you owe money."

For more specific information about how to protect your identity, visit the Attorney General’s website at

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