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Scammers use encrypted messaging to sell tutorials on how to steal unemployment for $50 of Bitcoin

Scammers use encrypted messaging services to sell tutorials on how to steal unemployment from different states for just $50 worth of Bitcoin

  • Scammers are flocking to encrypted messaging to sell fraud tutorials 
  • Tutorials on Telegram offer off methods of stealing unemployment 
  • They also offer instruction on how to avoid detection
  • The tutorials can be purchased on Telegram for just $50 in Bitcoin 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Scammers are flocking to encrypted messaging platforms for selling tutorials on how to defraud state government’s out of unemployment money.

According to KrebsOnSecurity, messaging service Telegram, which uses end-to-end encryption, has been a particularly popular option for scammers looking to exploit the influx of unemployment claims caused by COVID-19.

Security expert Brian Krebs, who operates KrebsOnSecurity details various forums and channels on Telegram devoted to instructing others on how to take advantage of fraud schemes targeting agencies in different US states.

KrebsOnSecurity found forums and channels on Telegram have been hosting hackers selling tutorials on how to defraud state agencies out of unemployment benefits

The tutorials, some of which cost just $50 in Bitcoin – a popular cryptocurrency used regularly in illicit schemes – instruct would-be scammers on how to avoid getting caught in addition to various methods of siphoning money from the government illegally.

According to a fraud expert who spoke to KrebsOnSecurity anonymously, the scams have become fairly popular as states have few measures in place to suss out suspicious payments.

Some state agencies lack the ability to recognize when payments are being made to the same bank accounts or even when claims for unemployment are made from people using the same IP address. 

Sometimes, KrebsOnSecurity reports, payments are even being made to accounts that don’t match the beneficiaries name.

‘The ones we’re seeing worst hit are the states that aren’t asking where you worked,” the investigator told KrebsOnSecurity. 

‘It used to be they’d have a whole list of questions about your previous employer, and you had to show you were trying to find work. But now because of the pandemic, there’s no such requirement.’

Those forums mirror an ongoing investigation by the Secret Service into a ring of suspected Nigerian hackers who allegedly used stolen identities to bilk states out of hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars intended to help jobless Americans.