Popular con job targets unemployment benefits 

Since 2013, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has seen an increase in unemployment benefits fraud. Our Corporate and Financial Investigations Department has investigated more than 50 cases involving unemployment fraudulent claims.

The scheme works when criminals file for unemployment benefits while impersonating current Blue Cross employees. The criminals obtain identity information and use social media channels to determine their victims’ workplaces, job titles and work email addresses. Claims are submitted to the State of Michigan Unemployment Agency, and a Green Dot debit card is created. Unemployment benefits are loaded onto the Green Dot card, and criminals access the cash benefits loaded on the card, similar to an ATM card.

While working with the State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, CFI has found that this is a common crime being committed throughout Michigan. It’s a lucrative business, and ultimately, the fraudulent money is funneled down to south Florida and drug cartels. CFI is working with state and federal investigators to prosecute the individuals responsible for these crimes. The State of Michigan is implementing new security features that will help reduce the amount of fraudulent unemployment claims.

As a reminder, use caution and be aware of your surroundings; only provide the minimum necessary information on social media accounts.

We urge Blue Cross and Blue Care Network members who suspect health care fraud to call our Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787 or to report fraud at bcbsm.com.