According to a new report from Axios, as much as half of all unemployment benefits — around $400 billion — doled out during the COVID-19 pandemic may have been lost to scams and fraud.
Unemployment fraud peaked during the pandemic, the outlet said Thursday, and nearly 50% of the money earmarked to help individuals survive during the economic downturn may have gone to scammers who took the money and funneled it, in most cases, out of the country.
“Unemployment fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion, according to some estimates, and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates — making this not just theft, but a matter of national security,” Axios said.
“Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me, a service that tries to prevent this kind of fraud, tells Axios that America has lost more than $400 billion to fraudulent claims,” the outlet noted. “As much as 50% of all unemployment monies might have