Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Further information on unemployment scams …

We have received the following information on surging unemployment scams from the Secret Service.

The OBA is attempting to build a list of banks that have returned these and it may simply be all our banks. If you have been dealing with this and you have not already notified us, we are asking that you send an email titled “UI Fraud” to elaine@oba.com with your bank name and a contact name, if possible.

FS-ISAC and other partners have issued a list of keywords for which you can search on multiple states. It is labeled “TLP Amber”, so it cannot be widely disseminated, but we can send you the list if you would send an email titled “Keyword request” to elaine@oba.com.

We remain extremely proud of all our banks are doing to save other states and our federal government from what could be massive losses.

The below Information Only Alert was shared by the U.S. Secret Service in Oklahoma. This Alert outlines the magnitude of this problem, and which states are experiencing a high volume of fraudulent claims. Not all unemployment claims coming into Oklahoma-based accounts from another state are fraudulent. However, the USSS recommends the following actions if your institution identifies accounts used to receive fraudulently obtained unemployment benefit funds:

• If 100% of the credit funds are still in the account, return the ACH within 24 hours for R03 (the account number does not correspond to the individual identified in the entry).

• If 100% of the credit funds are not available for return, you have the following options:

1) Obtain your customer’s authorization to return remaining funds. If obtained, mail a cashier’s check to the appropriate state’s unemployment insurance department. Example:

I, (insert customer name) received ACH Credits on (insert effective date of ACH) for $ (insert amount of ACH credit). This credit was described as (insert Company Name and Entry Description from ACH credit). It is my understanding these funds are from the State of (insert state) for unemployment benefits. I did not apply for these benefits in the name of (insert Individual ID Name from ACH credit) and I am not entitled to these funds. On (insert date(s) any funds were withdrawn), I withdrew $ (insert total amount withdrawn) as instructed by an acquaintance and sent the funds (insert what customer states they did with the funds withdrawn).

I’m requesting (insert your financial institution name) withdraw $(insert amount of remaining funds) representing remaining funds from the ACH credits described above, from my account ending in XXXX for the issuance of a cashier’s check payable to the State of (insert state) Employment Security Department and mail said check to the appropriate address.

(insert customer name)


2) File a Suspicious Activity Report and contact Special Agent Wes Gillespie at (405) 228-1957. Legal service to follow, which may include a Global Seizure Warrant and/or subpoena for customer records.

In any event, please track these transactions and file a Suspicious Activity Report where appropriate.

Arkansas financial institutions should contact their local U.S. Secret Service office.