The unemployment rate rose worldwide because of the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was passed to protect US citizens from the sudden rise in unemployment. Unfortunately, many criminals saw the CARES Act as a perfect opportunity to get free money, resulting in state agencies losing about 36 billion dollars to fraud.
A large number of applicants for the CARES Act overwhelmed US state agencies and effectively prevented them from screening the applicants properly to verify their identities. Most agencies still use legacy identification systems focused on Knowledge-based solutions which rely on an applicant’s personal information.
Hackers can easily access other people’s information and use them for identity fraud. Relying on an individual’s birth date, social security number, tax filing status, and address are no longer enough since hackers can access them and use them to commit fraud.
State agencies must invest in Fast Identity Online or FIDO authentication solutions to combat fraudsters and comply with the additional provisions for the second rollout of the CARES Act’s stimulus package.
The additional provision states that the state agencies must verify the eligible applicant’s identity to receive the unemployment benefits while providing federal funding to implement new identity proofing measures. Government agencies can then invest in biometric identification and device-based authentication solutions. In addition, it is also advisable to invest in automated identity proofing to streamline the applicant review and proofing process.
State agencies can also use modern data analytics to streamline detection, interpretation, and communication of data patterns to improve fraud prevention efforts. By monitoring fraudulent behaviors, government agencies can streamline the decision-making process and keep grifters from stealing from the CARES Act.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many people losing their jobs as the companies they worked for closed down, and it is not right for criminals to take advantage of this. To know more on how to stop criminals from stealing unemployment benefits, see this infographic by authID.