The Corner

Politics & Policy

Scammers: Living Life on Your Tax Dollars

It’s been obvious for months that overly generous federally mandated unemployment benefits discourage workers from returning to their jobs and contribute to the loss of job skills.


Now it turns out they are also a focal point of corruption because state bureaucrats demand little in the way of verification or qualification requirements. 


“An astonishing $36 billion has been lost to fraud in pandemic unemployment benefits,” according to the Foundation for Economic Education, which cited Department of Labor reports. Even worse, that number is larger than what the entire unemployment system paid out in 2019 ($26 billion). The fraud amounts to an average of some $1,900 lost for every unemployment recipient. 


A Nigerian student named Mayowa spoke to USA Today and openly admitted to scamming $50,000 from the U.S. welfare system through an international fraud network that laundered the money.


All he had to do was make a list of real people and then search through available databases of hacked information for their Social Security numbers and birthdates. “Once we have that information, it’s over,” Mayowa told reporters. “It’s easy money.”


Even when scammers are caught, there is little accountability for the bureaucrats they’ve fooled.


Only a few state administrators have been fired throughout this entire national COVID-19 welfare-fraud scandal. As the Foundation for Economic Education reported, “it’s simply unthinkable that this level of scandal and waste could happen in private enterprise without wide-scale firings and other forms of accountability.”


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