The Utica Police Department says it has been made aware of a 'large scale' scam and data breach involving false claims for unemployment benefits.

According to police, victims are being made aware of the scam and data breach only after their employer tells them of the unemployment filing and claim for benefits.

If you are the target of such a scam, Utica Police say you should take the following steps immediately:

1. Report the fraud to your employer. Keep a record of who you spoke with and when.

2. Report the fraud to your state unemployment benefits agency.
• If possible, report the fraud online. An online report will save you time and be easier for the agency to process.
• Keep any confirmation or case number you get. If you speak with anyone, keep a record of who you spoke with and when.

3. Report the fraud to a credit bureau so an alert can be placed on your account

4. Review your credit reports often

5. Check your personal bank accounts or mail for deposits for debit cards. Do not answer any suspicious calls or provide any information to individuals claiming to be the
unemployment agency saying the money was deposited by mistake. The state agencies will never ask you to refund money via cash or gift cards.

6. Visit www.identitytheft.gov, this is a Federal Trade Commission run website that will assist with the next steps to protect your credit or assist with recovery

Finally, officials say while you can file a complaint with your local police department, it is likely that much of the ensuing investigation will be handled at the state level.
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