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News Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
OR .......... a Democrat official embezzled the money, then came up with the 'Nigerian Scam' to explain the missing money.

Quote:Washington state officials have acknowledged the loss of “hundreds of millions of dollars” to an international fraud scheme that hammered the state’s unemployment insurance system and could mean even longer delays for thousands of jobless workers still waiting for legitimate benefits.

Suzi LeVine, commissioner of the state Employment Security Department (ESD), disclosed the staggering losses during a news conference Thursday afternoon. LeVine declined to specify how much money was stolen during the scam, which is believed to be orchestrated from Nigeria. But she conceded that the amount was “orders of magnitude above” the $1.6 million that the ESD reported losing to fraudsters in April.

LeVine said state and law enforcement officials were working to recover as much of the money as possible, though she declined to say how much had been returned so far. She also said the ESD had taken “a number of steps” to prevent new fraudulent claims from being filed or paid but would not specify the steps, to avoid alerting criminals.

“We do have definitive proof that the countermeasures we have put in place are working,” LeVine said. “We have successfully prevented hundreds of millions of additional dollars from going out to these criminals and prevented thousands of fraudulent claims from being filed.”

Thursday’s disclosure, which came after state officials had largely refused to discuss the scale of the fraud, helped explain the unusual surge in the number of new jobless claims filed last week in Washington. For the week ending May 16, the ESD received 138,733 initial claims for unemployment insurance, a 26.8% increase over the prior week and one of the biggest weekly surges since the coronavirus crisis began.

That sharp increase came as the number of initial jobless claims nationwide fell 9.2%, to 2.4 million, according to data released earlier in the day by the Labor Department.

Indeed, the surge in claims made Washington the state with the highest percentage of its civilian labor force filing unemployment claims — at 30.8%, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., think tank. Nevada, the next-highest state, reported claims from 24.5% of its civilian workforce.

Thursday’s disclosures also raised new questions about what, if anything, the ESD could have done to detect and prevent the fraudulent activity.

Last week, the U.S. Secret Service issued an alert warning that Washington was the “primary state targeted” by a “well-organized Nigerian fraud ring exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to commit large-scale fraud against state unemployment insurance programs.” The alert, which said there was “also evidence of attacks in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Florida,” noted “potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Among the criminal groups implicated in the fraud is a Nigerian organization known as Scattered Canary, according to a report released this week by Agari, a California-based cybersecurity firm that has tracked the African organization’s activities. The group has been running scams for more than a decade, working to steal Social Security payments, student aid and disaster relief funds, among other targets, the report said.

The group likely used personal information about Washingtonians from previous consumer-data breaches to slam Washington’s unemployment system with phony claims, which were paid out along with hundreds of thousands of legitimate ones.

“These crime rings are indiscriminate and very quick to jump on an opportunity,” said Armen Najarian, chief identity officer for Agari, in an interview.

“It is clear this is not just a Washington state problem,” said a statement from Gov. Jay Inslee’s office Thursday. “This is a national and international criminal conspiracy. We were among the first states hit by these fraudsters but we will not be the last.”

ESD officials have argued that fraudsters targeted Washington because it was among the first states to begin paying new benefits available under the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus bill. The legislation not only boosted benefits available under existing state unemployment insurance systems, including an extra $600 per week; it also gave state officials less time to verify new claims for those benefits.

ESD officials have acknowledged that, because of the elimination of the so-called waiting week between the time a claim is filed and the time the benefit is paid, the agency wasn’t always able to get verification from employers about a claim before payment was made.

Furthermore, because federal benefits were technically available beginning in March, several weeks before Washington was able to upgrade its processing system to be able to pay them, many claimants had retroactive claims for multiple weeks waiting to be paid in the ESD’s system. Those retroactive payments went out all at once, which added to the volume of the fraud.

At the federal level, the fraud is being investigated by the inspectors general of the Social Security Administration and the Department of Labor; the Secret Service; the FBI; and the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle, which is coordinating the effort.

In a statement Thursday, U.S. Attorney Brian Moran said federal officials worked with a “diligent financial institution” to “prevent $120 million from being distributed to criminals, and were “assisting in recovering millions of additional dollars, with assistance from scores of other banks and credit unions.”

Thursday’s disclosures come as Washington was struggling to process an unprecedented wave of legitimate jobless claims amid one of the worst economic crises in U.S. history. On Wednesday, the state’s monthly employment report for April showed Washington with a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 15.4%, up from 5.1% in March. The national unemployment rate for April stood at 14.7%, seasonally adjusted.

The massive number of new claims had already led to delays in benefits being paid to tens of thousands of workers, who have periodically overwhelmed the ESD’s telephone lines and website with inquiries.

On Thursday, LeVine acknowledged that, because of the fraud, some additional delays in benefit payments to legitimate claimants are likely as the ESD subjects all claims to more scrutiny.

“This makes me the most angry, and the most upset — that we need to delay payments to Washingtonians who need the benefits,” LeVine said. “But we need to also build in more time for analysis. So going forward, we want to set expectations that we will add an additional one to two days to our processing time.”

That delay, which follows a decision last Thursday to temporarily suspend benefit payments for two days, will mean more hardship for people like Thomas Segers of Seattle. The 61-year-old independent contractor, who provided packaging services to retailers, began receiving preliminary unemployment benefits in April, pending verification that he had lost his job.

Segers said he submitted the necessary paperwork by mail in time for the deadline to prove his employment status. However, he was notified this week that his submission was not processed on time, so his claim was denied. Now, he’s trying to figure out how to appeal that decision, but can’t reach anyone at the state for guidance.

He called the ESD more than 225 times on Thursday morning alone, but never got through.

“I’m sure I’m speaking for a lot of people who have questions, that it’s frustrating that nobody is answering,” Segers said. “They’re inaccessible at the one time, in my viewpoint, they most need to be accessible.”

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Couldn't have happened to a more deserving state. What do they say...."a fool and taxpayer money are soon parted"?

Video is how a typical Nigerian scam works:


05-22-2020 05:04 PM
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shere khan Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
Frick em
05-22-2020 05:08 PM
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EagleX Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
good God. WA state needs a new CIO.
05-22-2020 06:02 PM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
Our government should care enough to trace the origin of the calls and call in a drone strike. The problem is whatever the local Nigerian phone service is they are likely buying time from AT&T and that's why the FCC no longer has any teeth. NAFTA and other treaties mandate arbitration for damages. That clause is the equivalent of corporations telling you to your face that they have whizzed on you but that you have to believe it is raining. Treaties abnegate the legal rights of the victim and protect the predators. In 1960 they could have been extradited and prosecuted and trade would have been withheld until their government complied. But now that our corporations make money there we have no right of redress.

This is fundamentally a violation of the Social Contract upon which all government is built.
05-22-2020 08:11 PM
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EagleX Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
(05-22-2020 08:11 PM)JRsec Wrote:  Our government should care enough to trace the origin of the calls and call in a drone strike. The problem is whatever the local Nigerian phone service is they are likely buying time from AT&T and that's why the FCC no longer has any teeth. NAFTA and other treaties mandate arbitration for damages. That clause is the equivalent of corporations telling you to your face that they have whizzed on you but that you have to believe it is raining. Treaties abnegate the legal rights of the victim and protect the predators. In 1960 they could have been extradited and prosecuted and trade would have been withheld until their government complied. But now that our corporations make money there we have no right of redress.

This is fundamentally a violation of the Social Contract upon which all government is built.

we don't want a government powerful and authoritative enough to even know this kind of information.
05-22-2020 08:15 PM
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Bronco'14 Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
Washington State is a scam
05-22-2020 08:17 PM
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EagleX Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
it is indeed a violation of the social contract, as per locke.

in my readings, I get the sense that the the social contract died sometime shortly after the revolution, and then died an abysmal death with the social reformers in congress shortly after (or, actually, during) the civil war.
05-22-2020 08:20 PM
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
the "redeemers" is the term I was looking for, but could not find
05-22-2020 08:23 PM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
(05-22-2020 08:23 PM)EagleX Wrote:  the "redeemers" is the term I was looking for, but could not find

War always suspends the social contract and in our country suspends anti-trust laws for the sake of efficiency in a time of peril. So when the Civil War ended as usual the constraints on power and the manipulation of capital were not tended to and as a result we had several depression the worst of which was 1894-5 and lead T.R. to have a burning desire for anti-trust legislation. Wilson suspended it for WWI and the FED grew in power following it as a quasi governmental entity which operated on behalf of the wealthiest backers of it. The Great Depression in this country remained deflationary because we still pegged our currency to gold and less so to silver. FDR confiscated the Gold in '33 I think moving to silver. If we hadn't had that backing our currency would have been fiat like that of the Weimar Republic and our crisis would have been hyperinflationary like theirs. WWII brought about another suspension of anti-trust laws and the constant need for a conflict of small war has remained as a justification for not putting them back in place and the result has been a hijacking of the US Treasury by the FED.

If we face another true crisis it will be hyperinflationary and when they have negative interest rates we are well on our way. There are no free lunches so if they are forcing you to spend money and discouraging savings it means they backers of the bank are going to not give you a dime for your worthless money but they will sell you commodities and an every increasing price and foreclose your real property when you can't keep pace. Everyone of these cycle going back to ancient Rome have been used to consolidate wealth and not to generate it.

This to me is a bigger threat to our sovereignty than China. Had the Brits ever abandoned the Pound Sterling for the Euro they would have been toast and Germany would have accomplished through banking what 2 world wars couldn't deliver.

It's a lot to think about.
05-22-2020 09:04 PM
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
(05-22-2020 09:04 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(05-22-2020 08:23 PM)EagleX Wrote:  the "redeemers" is the term I was looking for, but could not find

War always suspends the social contract and in our country suspends anti-trust laws for the sake of efficiency in a time of peril. So when the Civil War ended as usual the constraints on power and the manipulation of capital were not tended to and as a result we had several depression the worst of which was 1894-5 and lead T.R. to have a burning desire for anti-trust legislation. Wilson suspended it for WWI and the FED grew in power following it as a quasi governmental entity which operated on behalf of the wealthiest backers of it. The Great Depression in this country remained deflationary because we still pegged our currency to gold and less so to silver. FDR confiscated the Gold in '33 I think moving to silver. If we hadn't had that backing our currency would have been fiat like that of the Weimar Republic and our crisis would have been hyperinflationary like theirs. WWII brought about another suspension of anti-trust laws and the constant need for a conflict of small war has remained as a justification for not putting them back in place and the result has been a hijacking of the US Treasury by the FED.

If we face another true crisis it will be hyperinflationary and when they have negative interest rates we are well on our way. There are no free lunches so if they are forcing you to spend money and discouraging savings it means they backers of the bank are going to not give you a dime for your worthless money but they will sell you commodities and an every increasing price and foreclose your real property when you can't keep pace. Everyone of these cycle going back to ancient Rome have been used to consolidate wealth and not to generate it.

This to me is a bigger threat to our sovereignty than China. Had the Brits ever abandoned the Pound Sterling for the Euro they would have been toast and Germany would have accomplished through banking what 2 world wars couldn't deliver.

It's a lot to think about.

I agree that we are at an inflection point. we may disagree that the inflection points are harmonized.
05-22-2020 10:39 PM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Washington State Lost Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To A Nigerian Scam
(05-22-2020 08:15 PM)EagleX Wrote:  
(05-22-2020 08:11 PM)JRsec Wrote:  Our government should care enough to trace the origin of the calls and call in a drone strike. The problem is whatever the local Nigerian phone service is they are likely buying time from AT&T and that's why the FCC no longer has any teeth. NAFTA and other treaties mandate arbitration for damages. That clause is the equivalent of corporations telling you to your face that they have whizzed on you but that you have to believe it is raining. Treaties abnegate the legal rights of the victim and protect the predators. In 1960 they could have been extradited and prosecuted and trade would have been withheld until their government complied. But now that our corporations make money there we have no right of redress.

This is fundamentally a violation of the Social Contract upon which all government is built.

we don't want a government powerful and authoritative enough to even know this kind of information.

This is where theory meets reality and where Lord Acton becomes operative. I agree that we don't want a government powerful enough and authoritative enough to know this (theory) but we have one (reality). The question is if that power was being used to secure your rights the ability itself would be debatable within the concept of Social Contract whether you use Rousseau's broader definition of it or Locke's more specific definition of it. The issue is obviously the power is being used by corporations to lure or mislead us through censorship of the news, to spy on us whether to know our proclivities so they might be used against us in advertising, or to spy on us to control us by government. Either way the reality is alien to the concept of Social Contract,

Corporatism is nothing more than a variation of fascism. It's power tends to the unilateral and the rights of the individual dismissed for the corporate good which when married to government as it is with the "Deep State" means a reprise of the concept that the rights of the many (think government) outweigh the rights of the few (individual). I know it sounds like a Star Trek show (which panders to fascism and makes its concepts sound ethical through the character of Spock who uses logic to determine right and wrong which we both know is not the function of logic.
But I digress. Rights of the many can't be in conflict with the rights of the few because the many are merely individuals and their rights are managed by the few (government). So all freedom starts with the rights of the individual and government has to be only a tool to safeguard those rights. Therefore any unelected government is not of the people but of the government itself.

Bureaucracy is anathema to freedom. Those in this nation that push for larger government push for enslavement. It is precisely why crisis is still needed to legitimize central control.

You reference inflection points. The rise of crises (manufactured or real) directly correspond to the loss of freedom because it is in time of war that we give consent to central control for the effective and efficient prosecution of public safety. Corporations and bureaucracies have developed the synergy of manipulating the crises to maintain that kind of authority and the police state is a byproduct of that union. The longer we stay in a prolonged state of crisis the less free we are. Hence the need of the Nanny State to respond to manufactured fear. Lost implicitly in it is the right of self determination. Our inalienable right is not simply the pursuit of happiness which for the unenlightened is merely the pursuit of the fruit of our own labors, but also the right to fail, retry, fail, retry until we succeed.

Quietly we've ceded that right as well. We now are evaluated by our teachers who work for whom? The state. We are evaluated by our employers who no longer reserve their evaluation's confidentiality to the work place, but pedigree it and by requirement of corporate policy, not law per se, use it as holy writ to control your successes, justify their decisions over you without due process, and take away your ability to try again by an uncontestable judgment in your personnel file which thanks to the corporate system and computer follows you everywhere robbing you of your right to improve and of your right to sue for false accusation. The result is an abuse of power in the relationship between employer and employee which favors the power of the corporation over that of the individual. Hell this even extends to credit agencies who by process of misfiling can ruin you with little redress on your part. While thankfully this has not happened to me I've had to help those it has happened to.

So my point back to you Eagle X is while that drone strike to safeguard you from cyber predators and phone scammers may exceed the social contract it is nevertheless the use of power on your behalf. The problem is the same corporations that are robbing you of your rights here, paying for and backing the government here, are operating or profiting by the crime overseas that is targeting you. And that's why no such strike is ever considered. Case in point the invasion of Baghdad where cruise missiles were used in advance rather than carpet bombing which is much more suppressive of ground force resistance. With the missiles properties of American Corporations and those of allies could be kept intact, even if it meant that the citizen solider had to go in and manually clear out those buildings of combatants.

I'm afraid that all that is left of our social contract is the illusion of freedom fed to us as propaganda in and through the entertainment industry. I think back to the Gold Act of 1933 and the confiscation of private wealth for the good of the nation. It was a precedent that screamed to this point. And we are so far past that now it seems quaint rather than pivotal. I don't think we have many inflection points left to cover. Even the right of ownership of private property is a bit of a ruse. The government has the right to assess your property for taxes. If you don't pay the taxes your property is subject to seizure. So do you really have the right to own property or do you merely have the use of the property as long as you can pay your taxes? I would argue fundamentally there is no private ownership of property in as much as if the government wants to confiscate it all they have to do is raise taxes to the extent that no American can pay for it. Which by the way is why we are incorporated as a government because if the government defaults it is private property that is subject to seizure for the forfeiture of that debt. Real time cases of this have come from friends in Germany and Belgium who lived on old family property. When the government wanted use of the land they merely rezoned it and raised taxes to the extent that those who thought they owned it had to sell to keep from losing everything. Our structure is set up for that, it just hasn't broadly executed it because it would kill a favorable tax base.

Now when the average citizen grasps that perhaps it should become crystal clear why the FED backers and the FED encourage being trillions in debt. The FED is the lender, the government is the debtor, and our property is the collateral.

Now if the average American ever grasps that they will never sleep soundly again.

The corporate system we have in place now enforces loyalty to the corporate entity by power of uncontested referral. Through government you give back your wages to merely exercise some control over property you never truly own (think company housing), to drive a car you never finish paying taxes on (think rental), and when you get sick and die corporate hospitals, nursing homes and funeral parlors will clean out your family's savings. Its a West Virginia Coal mining company town in macrocosm.

So I agree that the death of the Social Contract happened early on, and certainly by the civil war it was terminal. But helping the nation survive and thrive were periods without crises. We no longer have these, at least not of any duration because the control, like cocaine, requires more and more to feel ever more powerful and power like cocaine makes the user paranoid. Right now they fear us, and for no good reason. But that won't stop until we are disarmed. Americans who think they would feel safer if we had no weapons don't know what real terror is. And that is why though I tire of them, Holocaust movies still serve as a reminder of who could be next.
(This post was last modified: 05-23-2020 11:07 AM by JRsec.)
05-23-2020 04:33 AM
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