The scammers’ target was the state’s unemployment benefits system. During the pandemic, the government greatly increased benefit payouts and hastily expanded eligibility to new categories of workers. In its rush to get taxpayer money out the door, the government created a target-rich system flush with cash and light on verification.
These scammers in New York only got caught because they were particularly, erm, flagrant in their criminal activity. They made multiple unusually large withdrawals at ATMs, triggering monitors, and openly posted the huge influx of cash on social media.
I wish I could tell you that this story was just a one-off. But countless similar examples of rampant fraud have emerged during the government’s massive “emergency” spending spree. The expansion of unemployment benefits alone has lost a truly astounding amount of money to fraud.
A report shows that the federal government has potentially lost up to $200 billion in taxpayer money to scammers ripping off the system. For context, that’s equivalent to $1,400 lost per federal taxpayer. (There goes your “stimmy” check!).
No word yet if suspects also posted CNN-approved vaccine selfies, in addition to flashing their wads of cash.