There has been an “unprecedented” level of people faking their identities to access jobless benefits, the report says.
Authorities, therefore, are now fighting to contain the fraud. And ID.me has seen its business ballooning.
The Reuters report says that the company, which started in 2010 as a kind of Craigslist for verified military veterans, used to vet unemployment claims in zero states. Now it operates in 27 of them. The U.S. government has said the current problem could end up becoming a loss of $87 billion in fraudulent unemployment payments, so the company will have its work cut out for it.
The issue, according to Reuters, is that many of those 27 states mentioned above had “sole-source” or emergency exemptions to keep from getting competing bids, leaving ID.me with the lion’s share of the work.
The scrutiny comes from lawmakers who have gotten reports that the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) might have messed with open competition and recommended ID.me over other similar companies to deal with issues.
That has also snowballed into problems as some benefits-seekers have seen delays because of ID.me’s suddenly high traffic.
Former ID.me workers told Reuters that non-English speakers, the elderly and people of color had ended up waiting, sometimes for days, because of that.
ID.me’s technology works to analyze evidence and records and also compares users’ selfies to pictures they take for driver’s licenses. Users are also able to show identification on video chats if the selfie comparison does not work for them.
The Feds also just recently busted an unemployment fraud ring that was taking as much as $26 billion meant to go to those who legitimately didn’t have jobs. The ring was targeting the California Employment Development Department (EDD), and 11 other states’ departments, which reportedly defrauded millions of dollars from victims from fake claims.