BREAKING: State of Md. uncovers more than 47,000 fraudulent unemployment claims
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Larry Hogan announced on Wednesday that the state has uncovered a massive criminal enterprise involving more than 47,500 fraudulent unemployment claims, totaling over $501 million.
We’re told that after detecting an unusual increase in out-of-state Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims, the Maryland Department of Labor discovered more than 47,500 fraudulent claims using stolen identities and personal information acquired from previous national data breaches.
Officials say the Department of Labor has not experienced any breach of the state’s unemployment insurance system, and Maryland claimants’ personal information has not been compromised in any way. Over $4.3 billion in federal unemployment insurance benefits payments have been processed to more than 489,000 Marylanders.
The governor says nothing will stop them from continuing to help struggling Marylanders get the assistance that they need during this crisis.
In addition, Hogan reminded Marylanders to continue teleworking when possible, not to use public transportation unless absolutely necessary, continue wearing masks, and practice physical distancing. He is urging any Marylander who has traveled to or is returning from travel out of state should immediately get tested.
The governor also says that decisions are still being made in terms of reopening schools this fall. He says that local jurisdictions are continuing to finalize their proposed plans, and once that input is complete, the Maryland State Department of Education will institute guidelines that follow CDC guidance and provide flexibility for local school systems. Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, will join the governor for a press conference next week to provide an update on progress.
“We all want our children to get back to school as soon as possible, but only if and when we can do it in a way that keeps our students and our teachers safe,” Hogan said.