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Michigan Unemployment Officials Search for Fraud, Ensnaring Claimants

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Michigan has resumed unemployment payments to more than 100,000 claimants whose accounts were frozen because of potential fraud, but about 200,000 more are still suspended.

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Michigan unemployment officials continue sifting through claims searching for potential fraud.

The state recently suspended hundreds of thousands of unemployment claim accounts.

Based on the CARES Act there was billions of dollars that was sent out to the states for unemployment payments.This is a perfect storm for scammers.” — Crane Hassold, Agari

Several years ago computers mistakenly flagged thousands of unemployment claims for fraud.

Experts say the group Scattered Canary has multiple cyber scams underway.Courtesy of Agari
Courtesy of Agari

Experts say the group Scattered Canary has multiple cyber scams underway.

But this time cyber experts say groups operating primarily from West Africa and Nigeria actually are trying to scam Michigan’s unemployment agency.

Cyber intelligence expert Crane Hassold, a threat analyst with the security company Agari, says one particular group code-named “Scattered Canary” has long targeted business employees.

But Hassold tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter Scattered Canary and groups like it are now going after funds designed to help those left unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Click on the player to hear Crane Hassold discuss the full extent of the cyberattacks on unemployment claims.

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Quinn Klinefelter, Senior News Editor

Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.


This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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