Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), like other states across the country, remains under attack by criminals. Since Friday, April 2, Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims likely filed by criminals that have been halted for identity verification. No payments have been sent to the approximately 100,000 flagged claims.
“Because of the additional fraud protections we developed last year at the onset of these coordinated attacks on state unemployment agencies, these fraudulent claims have been stopped and no payments have been sent,” said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “We continue to be vigilant in protecting the integrity of the system and the benefits for those who rightfully deserve them.”
Imposter claims are filed using previously stolen or fraudulent personal information – no personal data from claimants has been stolen from the UIA. The expanded benefits available under the federal PUA program have resulted in increased activity among criminals, particularly those posing as self-employed workers or independent contractors to illegally obtain benefits.