Washington state acknowledged this week that it has lost hundreds of millions of dollars to a sophisticated unemployment fraud ring. Most of the money had come from the federal government in the form of pandemic aid.
It does not appear to have been a case of hacking, or a data breach. Rather, scammers used names and Social Security numbers they already had, possibly from earlier data breaches, to pose as out-of-work Washingtonians, security experts said.
In many cases — likely most cases — the real Washingtonians had not actually lost their jobs.