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Bogus Unemployment Claims Are In NJ’s Crosshairs

“Since March of 2011 New Jersey has saved at least $100 million from going into the hands of cheats and that is a very, very conservative estimate,” says New Jersey Labor commissioner Hal Wirths. Testifying before the State senate Budget Committee today Wirths said New Jersey’s new anti-fraud unit is led by a former FBI agent who is clearly good at what he does.

Scott Olson, Getty Images

This the only program of its kind in the nation according to Wirths. He says new software is identifying claims filed from outside the country.

These include more than 1,000 claims over a three-week period that mainly came from Internet addresses in South America. Wirths says the software to track down foreign claims cost just $1,600 but saved the fund at least $8 million.

Wirths explains, “Last year we were stopping payments on a weekly average of 2,000 to 2,400 hundred claims a week. We now average 1,650 claimants each week. The word is getting out…Soon we’ll be using a new unemployment insurance fraud identity proofing program designed to catch the criminal imposters who would file phony claims by using stolen identities.”

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