Identity theft specifically linked to unemployment jumped to astronomical levels last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from Allstate Identity Protection (AIP),Allstate Insurance’s identity theft insurance business.FraudExcess & Surplus Lines
The report found that unemployment fraud in 2020 increased by more than 17,000%.
Tax fraud also increased last year, by 258% more than 2019. AIP has warned that both are likely to continue rising, with unemployment fraud cases expected to more than triple in 2021.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment fraud accounted for only a small fraction of all identity theft cases; in AIP’s case, it only accounted for less than 0.1% of the fraud cases it handles.
However, it now represents about 70% of the fraud cases resolved by AIP.