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Crime & Safety

2 Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Filed In Annapolis: Report

Annapolis police have seen an uptick in unemployment fraud. This is part of a statewide rise in scams during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Annapolis Police Department reported two fraudulent unemployment insurance claims last week.
The Annapolis Police Department reported two fraudulent unemployment insurance claims last week. (Shutterstock)

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Police said scammers filed two fraudulent unemployment claims last week in Annapolis. The government did not pay out any money in either case, a press release clarified.

Officers noted that they heard of the first fraud last Tuesday around 2:26 p.m. They turned out to the 700 block of Pilot House Road, an incident report added. That victim told police that several banks contacted him about accounts that he didn't open, the write-up indicated.

The second victim reported the fraud last Wednesday around 12:35 p.m., officers explained. Police informed that this case happened in the 100 block of Hicks Avenue.

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Statewide Scam Spike

These crimes are part of a statewide spike in scams during the coronavirus pandemic. Fraudsters try to capitalize on misinformation about the ever-changing health situation. They also prey on Marylanders' increased online presence during a time of economic vulnerability.

Some scams have targeted Medicare patients, lotteries, banks, charities and coronavirus vaccine seekers.

Find out what's happening in Annapolis with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Last July, the state thwarted an illegal $501 million unemployment insurance scheme. The widespread fraud used the stolen identities of 47,500 people from 12 different states. Maryland blocked the fraudulent claims, saving the state half a billion dollars.

Common Annapolis Frauds

The Annapolis Police Department also warned that locals have gotten phone calls, texts and emails from scammers pretending to be police officers or federal employees. Officers stated that these fraudsters often illegally spoof caller IDs, tricking your phone into showing that local police are calling you.

The scammers claim you have an outstanding debt, a comprised identity or an open arrest warrant, officers cautioned. The fraudsters then tell their victims to buy gift cards to fix the problem, the release advised.

"If you receive a phone call like this DO NOT give the caller any personal or account information," police said in the report. "If anyone tells you to pay by gift card or by wiring money—for any reason—that's a sure sign of a scam."

How To Get Help

Residents can learn more about common scams or file a complaint by visiting this website or calling Annapolis police at 410-268-4141.


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