Criminal actors and other perpetrators are siphoning unemployment benefits. According to the U.S. Secret Service, here’s what receiving depository financial institutions (RDFIs) should look out for:

  1. Accountholder name and ACH “remit to” name do not match
  2. Total unemployment deposits are more than $5,000 per month
  3. Unemployment deposits are paid to an accountholder residing outside of the issuing state
  4. The customer’s account(s) receives both deposits of unemployment insurance (UI) and regular work-related earnings, such as paycheck deposits
  5. Multiple UI payments deposited into one account from the same issuing state or from multiple issuing states
  6. Unemployment deposits into one account intended for multiple unemployment benefit recipients
  7. Deposited funds are quickly diverted via wire transaction to foreign accounts, particularly to accounts located in countries with poor anti-money laundering (AML) controls
  8. The customer’s account behavior seems atypical for someone receiving unemployment benefits


Financial institutions that receive ACH transactions from fraudulent unemployment insurance benefit applications should preserve and return these funds in accordance with AML obligations and relevant banking laws and procedures. RDFIs should work with the originating depository financial institution and NACHA to preserve and return funds from fraudulent unemployment insurance applications.


Article source: ICBA Independent Banker January 2021, visit

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