July 21, 2020
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada’s COVID-19 Task Force,
formed by Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and U.S. Attorney Nicholas A.
Trutanich, has recently received reports suggesting that personal identifying
information of some present and past Nevada residents is being used to file
fraudulent applications for unemployment benefits.
typically learn of these suspected unlawful activities when either they receive
a letter from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation
(DETR) relating to an application for benefits they never sought, and/or their
employer receives a similar notification from DETR.
“This Task Force was
formed to fight fraud and prosecute those using COVID-19 for their own
financial gain,” said Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “Thousands of
Nevadans have lost their jobs and are facing extreme financial hardship. I urge
Nevadans affected by or with information about fraudulent unemployment applications
to file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and
“The COVID-19 Fraud
Task Force is committed to protecting the integrity of the unemployment
benefits program,” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich. “We
will continue working closely with our law enforcement partners and colleagues
on the Task Force to safeguard the program for Nevadans facing difficult
situations who need our help.”
Individuals who believe
that someone is fraudulently using their identity to apply for unemployment
benefits should file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint
Center (IC3), at www.ic3.gov and to DETR’s Fraud Report. Nevada’s COVID-19 Fraud Task Force is working with
DETR to assess the problem. Due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing,
no further information about
the details of the investigation will be provided
at this time.
In April 2020,
Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich announced the formation of Nevada’s COVID-19 Task Force. The Task Force
is comprised of local, state and federal investigators and prosecutors with
significant experience in handling complaints and cases related to general
fraud, heath care fraud, Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud, workers’ compensation
fraud and cybercrime, among others. Together, they have been sharing information
and resources to protect Nevadans from those using the COVID-19 pandemic to
take advantage of consumers.
The following are
some tips to protect yourself against unemployment scams and identity
- Never give out personal or financial
information over the phone.
- Thoroughly review all financial statements
for any unusual activity. Immediately contact the company if an item looks
- Shred or destroy credit card statements,
bills, insurance papers or bank statements before throwing them out.
- Do not carry your Social Security Card in
- Be wary of anyone calling to “confirm”
personal or financial information. Often, these are criminals trying to obtain
those facts under the guise of “confirmation”.
- Release your Social Security number only
when absolutely necessary or when required by law.
- Ask how you can remove unnecessary
information or information that is not required for the service you are
- Check credit reports, banking information,
medical information that may have details that need to be removed or secured.
- Do not provide or validate your personal
information from contacts not initiated by you.
- Protect and update passwords to your online
- When creating passwords and PINS, do not use
anything that could be discovered easily by thieves.
- Memorize all your passwords and PINS.
- Remove old accounts and passwords that are
no longer in use.
- Use additional security measures provided
for your accounts wherever available.
- Contact your local police department if you
think your identity has been stolen.
- If you think an identity thief is using your
Social Security number, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at (800)