Spokane Police seeing surge in identity theft reports during coronavirus crisis

Police lights

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Police Department says it is seeing an increase in identity theft reports involving unemployment claims.

On Wednesday alone, Spokane Police had 18 reports of fraudulent claims in the city. Another 32 were reported within Spokane County.

SPD says scammers are taking advantage of these unprecedented times, using names and social security numbers of victims for unemployment claims.

RELATED: Another 3 million Americans file for unemployment benefits

“The scammers typically target mid-management type employees who have been with their employer for a number of years,” the press release said.

They are asking for those working in the human resources department to have employees make sure their contact information is up to date and correct, even those currently laid off and are eligible to receive benefits.

Those who may have been a victim of unemployment fraud should report it to Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

There are more steps people can take to help protect their identity.

  • Learn more on the Employment Security Department’s website.
  • Check in with the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. There people can make sure their information hasn’t been compromised in other ways.

SPD asks that if you have been a victim of any other COVID-19 related scams, to report them to Crime Check, as well.

RELATED: IRS warns of potential scammers trying to steal your stimulus check

RELATED: Health officials say contact tracing involves HIPAA, won’t violate your privacy