OKLAHOMA CITY — The U.S. Secret Service is blaming a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring for fake unemployment claims in Oklahoma and other states and warned that potential losses could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
“The primary state targeted so far is Washington, while there is also evidence of attacks in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Florida,” the Secret Service said in an alert sent to law enforcement officials across the country last week. “It is extremely likely every state is vulnerable to this scheme and will be targeted if they have not been already.”
The agency in charge of unemployment benefits in Oklahoma made a change Tuesday in an effort to stop further fraud and to deal with the unprecedented backlog of unprocessed claims.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission voted 4-1 at an emergency meeting to turn over control of its information technology services to another state agency.