N.J. says it has caught $100 million in unemployment fraud

New Jersey is stepping up efforts to crack down fraudulent unemployment claims.Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths says the state has saved at least $100 million in the past 12 months by using new-hire directories to cut off unemployment insurance payments to people who’ve returned to work.He says new software is also identifying fraudulent claims filed on the Internet from outside the country.”We identified more than a 1,000 claims in a three week period that were filed from foreign addresses,” said Wirths. “Most were from South America and we stopped them cold. The software enabling us to do this cost $1,600. We conservatively estimate that we’ve saved more than $8 million in weeding out just those initial claims.”Wirths says another program will soon be used to crack down on claims made through stolen identities. That software will ask claimants three questions and compare the answers with public information from tax and motor vehicle records.

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