Unemployment insurance fraud takes several forms, such as providing false information on an application, saying you’re not working when you are, and working off the books while collecting benefits. A prevalent form consists of using another person’s identity to file a fraudulent claim.

Because of the pandemic, which resulted in a surge of unemployment claims and overburdened benefits agencies, thousands have fallen victim to unemployment insurance fraud committed via identity theft. Billions of dollars have been paid out to fraudsters.

Even as the pandemic abates, the scam shows no signs of stopping. Victims become aware they’ve been scammed in different ways, for example, when they receive a letter from their state’s department of labor

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, we’re heading full speed into the holiday season and its proliferation of scams. Be cautious when sharing information online and take precautions to avoid holiday frauds.

Fake charities reach out this time of year to take advantage of goodwill (and the desire for year-end tax deductions). Confirm the legitimacy of any charity before donating. Don’t donate through a link or provide information to a caller. Instead, support charities through their

Last month, NYC passed a law regulating customer data collected by food delivery services from online orders.  Effective at the end of the year, the law will require delivery services (such as DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats) to furnish customer data (including name, phone number, email and delivery addresses, order contents) at least on a monthly basis to restaurants that request it until the restaurant requests not to receive it.

The law also requires that delivery services disclose to

Last month,  NYC’s new biometric data protection law became effective. The law applies to many local commercial establishments including stores, entertainment venues, and restaurants. The law requires the posting of a sign giving notice of biometric data collection and prohibits transacting in biometric data.

Covered establishments are required to post notices if they collect, retain or share “biometric identifier information” — “physiological or biological characteristic[s] … used by or on

The pandemic resulted in a shift to online learning, with many schools issuing devices (laptops, tablets) to students who otherwise would not have had online access. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a think tank and advocacy organization, recently released two reports delving into whether students who rely on school-issued devices are subject to more monitoring than their peers who have their own.

Monitoring can take the form of teachers viewing students’ online activity in

Phishing is a widely known scam in which messages “fishing” for your personal information are sent to you via email. Generally, the message is not personalized, although phishing can be targeted to an individual or entire company. (This is called “spear” phishing.) The messages appear to be from a reputable organization like a financial services provider (your bank), but they are fraudulent. The scammer’s goal is identity theft: to obtain your personal info or credentials to steal your money

The tragic events in Miami surrounding the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building have spurred many people to donate funds to those struck by the disaster.  Unfortunately, reports have surfaced of donors being scammed through fraudulent sites. 

If you want to donate, be mindful of the following to avoid being victimized: Fake charities can look real, with scammers choosing a name similar to a legit charity’s name, complete with an authentic-looking logo. Make sure you give by check or

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