SCAMS ALERT: ID theft via phone, text, email, online filings

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

YATES COUNTY – With the recent release of the $1,400 Economic Impact Payment by the U.S. Treasury and IRS, residents need to be aware of the unending scams that are being committed by criminal’s everyday through phone calls, text messages, email, and other electronic means, including fraudulent websites.

“Anyone at any age can fall victim to these scams if they are not cautious,” warns Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike.

The most recent scams include fraudulent offers claiming to assist individuals in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 stimulus payments, as well as attempts at New York State unemployment fraud via ID theft. The number of unemployment claims has increased tremendously as many Yates County residents have received notices from the state Department of Labor that alert them to benefit claims fraudulently filed.

Criminals are using real Yates County residents’ identities to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims to illegally collect benefits in the name of individuals who are not unemployed. Many of these false claims are coming out of the New York City area. 

Spike urges everyone to promptly report unemployment fraud to his or her employer, the Department of Labor at https://webapps.labor.ny.gov/dews/ui/fraud/report-fraud.shtm, the Sheriff’s Office, or your local police.

“ID Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the USA. The days of doing burglaries is being replaced by the criminal using a keyboard,” says Spike.

Sheriff Ron Spike