Scammers Have Taken $36 Billion In Stimulus Payments

$36 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits have been stolen from the U.S., mostly due to scams that have taken CARES benefits away from unemployed workers.

The fraud has prompted states, like California, to freeze benefits as they implement changes.

Hackers and others took advantage of state unemployment lax security measures, as the fraud took place under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. In some states, more than 35 percent of PUA applications were fraudulent.

Most of the fraudulent applications were the result of identity theft, and the Department of Labor is tying some of the theft to hackers in China, Nigeria, and Russia.

Some now fear the new requirements to tighten security could delay benefits.

Photos by Getty Images

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