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Nebraska lawmakers call for action to stop cyber criminals stealing unemployment benefits

A State Auditor’s report released last December revealed some payments were getting into the hands of hackers
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - More action needs to be take to prevent cyber criminals from getting their hands on unemployment benefits, as claims soared last year amid the pandemic.

A State Auditor’s report released last December revealed some payments were getting into the hands of hackers, now two state senators want to know what the Nebraska Department of Labor is doing about it.

“If they have your social security, if they have any of personal information, such as next to kin then they can pretend to be you,” said Senator Carol Blood, District 3, noting the Labor Department’s website is still vulnerable, and she’s getting way to many calls from people who’ve been hacked.

“They can get into the frequently the site as well and say, ‘hey I changed bank accounts please deposit my next check into this account,’ and they have all the data that shows it’s them, but it’s really not them,” said Sen. Blood.

As the calls continued to come, the Senator’s Office made a call to the Nebraska Department of Labor.

“When we reached out to DOL (Department of Labor) they were like, ‘yes, we’ve had fraud, so we thought they’d get on top of it, but that hasn’t happened,” said Sen. Blood.

Sen. Blood and Sen. Jen Day, District 49, sent a letter to the director of the Nebraska’s Department of Labor on Wednesday, demanding answers.

“What types of things are we doing security wise to protect these funds and most importantly to protect taxpayers dollars,” said Sen. Blood, noting more needs to be done.

“So what some states have gone to facial ID, and not everyone is a big fan of that because they feel it violates their privacy, but we’re going to have to figure out something.”

The senators are also asking the State what the Attorney General is doing to try and recoup some these stolen tax-payer dollars.

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