Half of all unemployment money was stolen by criminals during pandemic, experts say | Fox Business

Unemployment fraud surged during the coronavirus pandemic, with billions of dollars likely ending up in the hands of foreign crime syndicates based in China, Russia and other countries, experts say.

As much as $400 billion in unemployment benefits may have been fraudulent, according to one estimate by ID.me, FOX Business confirmed. That amounts to about 50% of unemployment money, according to the company, which uses facial recognition software to verify identities.

Source: Half of all unemployment money was stolen by criminals during pandemic, experts say | Fox Business

Ransomware: US recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers – CNNPolitics

Washington (CNN)US investigators have recovered millions in cryptocurrency they say was paid in ransom to hackers whose attack prompted the shutdown of the key East Coast pipeline last month, the Justice Department announced Monday.

The announcement confirms CNN’s earlier reporting about the FBI-led operation, which was carried out with cooperation from Colonial Pipeline, the company that fell victim to the ransomware attack in question.
Specifically, the Justice Department said it seized approximately $2.3 million in Bitcoins paid to individuals in a criminal hacking group known as DarkSide. The FBI said it has been investigating DarkSide, which is said to share its malware tools with other criminal hackers, for over a year.
The ransom recovery, which is the first seizure undertaken by the recently created DOJ digital extortion taskforce, is a rare outcome for a company that has fallen victim to a debilitating cyberattack in the booming criminal business of ransomware.
Colonial Pipeline Co. CEO Joseph Blount told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published last month that the company complied with the $4.4 million ransom demand because officials didn’t know the extent of the intrusion by hackers and how long it would take to restore operations.

Source: Ransomware: US recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers – CNNPolitics

Dogecoin rallies on Elon Musk tweet, anticipated Coinbase listing

Dogecoin’s price soared as high as 56 cents early Friday, according to Coin Metrics data.

  • Dogecoin’s price soared as high as 56 cents early Friday, according to Coin Metrics data.
  • Elon Musk tweeted that he was working with dogecoin developers to improve the efficiency of transactions.
  • Crypto exchange Coinbase said Thursday it would offer dogecoin support in the next six to eight weeks.

Source: Dogecoin rallies on Elon Musk tweet, anticipated Coinbase listing

Sen. Cruz: Illegals do get stimulus checks, Democrats are wrong | One America News Network

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Joe Biden has squandered U.S. national wealth by giving $1,400 dollar stimulus checks to illegal aliens. Democrat media attempted to fact check or censor Cruz by saying illegals couldn’t get stimulus checks because they do not have a social security number.

However, immigration officials refuted Democrat falsehoods that said many illegals who have overstayed their visas actually do possess social security numbers and are in fact eligible for IRS payments.

Source: Sen. Cruz: Illegals do get stimulus checks, Democrats are wrong | One America News Network

Stimulus check update: U.S. issued 90 million checks worth $242 billion

The U.S. has thus far issued 90 million stimulus checks worth a collective $242 billion as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

  • The U.S. has thus far issued 90 million stimulus checks worth a collective $242 billion as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
  • The first batch of payments were mostly sent by direct deposit, and some recipients started receiving their checks this past weekend, the government said.
  • The checks began processing on March 12 and some Americans have already seen the deposits as pending prior to today’s official payment day.

Source: Stimulus check update: U.S. issued 90 million checks worth $242 billion

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo face customer anger over stimulus checks – CBS News

The IRS has started distributing a third round of federal stimulus checks, worth up to $1,400 per eligible adult and child. But the timing of getting a check may depend partly on a bank’s policies, with some customers of JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo expressing frustration after the banks said the coronavirus relief payments won’t be available until March 17.

The banks say the timing of the payments is outside their control. Although the IRS started issuing payments over the weekend, the official payment date isn’t until March 17,

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase told CBS MoneyWatch. Wells Fargo added that it “is not holding the funds” and that it will deposit the money into accounts as soon as possible. Yet other banks are crediting the funds to customer accounts immediately. Current, a New York-based banking startup, is using its own balance sheet to credit the funds rather than waiting for settlement. Some of its customers received access to their stimulus funds on March 12, a day after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion bill into law.

Source: JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo face customer anger over stimulus checks – CBS News

Pittsburgh area residents getting unsolicited debit cards, concerned about identity fraud

HOMESTEAD, Pa. —Some Pittsburgh area residents are getting debit cards they didn’t ask for from banks they don’t belong to.Customers of Chase Bank are being told it could be an identity theft issue.

“The consumer should also fill out the bank’s ID theft form so that the bank removes the account from its records and shares the information with reporting agencies,” Chase Bank told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 in a statement.

Here’s a link to Chase’s online security center.

Pittsburgh, West Mifflin and Upper St. Clair police have put out notices that they’ve gotten reports of unsolicited debit cards being opened in residents’ names.

Cindy McGovern lives in Clairton. Multiple people in her office also got cards.

“There have been at least 30 people in that bank today, OK? There are people from all, many of the municipalities, many of the Mon Valley people, many of them South Hills people,” McGovern said.

Upper St. Clair Police says, aside from Chase, they’ve gotten reports that people have received cards from MetaBank and Go2Bank.

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 heard back from Go2Bank Wednesday evening. They said they send mailers with cards that are clearly labeled as advertisements and have not received direct reports of any issues. The company is investigating if they’ve been impacted.

MetaBank has not yet responded to a request for a statement.

Pittsburgh police says people are encouraged to contact the bank, the three main credit reporting agencies and your local police department.

Source: Pittsburgh area residents getting unsolicited debit cards, concerned about identity fraud

Community Bank closing six branches, four in the Pittsburgh metro area – WPXI

PITTSBURGH — Community Bank, retail arm of CB Financial Services Inc., on Tuesday said it plans to consolidate six branches.

Four are located within the 10-county Pittsburgh metro where Community Bank ranks No. 17 by deposit market share. It is targeting June 30 for the closures.

They are:

Monongahela to be consolidated into Rostraver

Perryopolis to be consolidated into Uniontown and Rostraver

Pioneer to be consolidated into Waynesburg

Southpointe to be consolidated into McMurray

Source: Local bank closing six branches, four in the Pittsburgh metro, and here’s where

New rule on 401(k) rollovers takes effect, as Biden sticks with Trump-era change | Fox Business

The measure will cause many rollovers, in which hundreds of billions of dollars move annually from 401(k)s to individual retirement accounts, to be more heavily regulated. It also gives investors who feel they have been given bad rollover advice the right to file a lawsuit or arbitration claim.

Source: New rule on 401(k) rollovers takes effect, as Biden sticks with Trump-era change | Fox Business

Turkey replaces central bank head as lira sees record lows

Former Finance Minister Naci Agbal was brought in to replace Murat Uysal, according to a presidential decree announced in the Official Gazette.

  • Former Finance Minister Naci Agbal was brought in to replace Murat Uysal, according to a presidential decree announced in the Official Gazette.
  • The decision came after the lira lost nearly a third of its value since the start of the year — hitting a record low of 8.58 against the U.S. dollar on Friday — and annual inflation stood at 11.89%.

Source: Turkey replaces central bank head as lira sees record lows

What negative interest rates would mean for your wallet

As the economy craters, here’s a look at what cutting interest rates below zero would mean for everyday Americans.

  • “Negative interest rates are inevitable in the U.S.,” said Bankrate’s Greg McBride. “It’s just a matter of when.”
  • For everyday Americans, that would likely mean lower mortgage and credit card rates and even lower returns on savings, if any at all.

Source: What negative interest rates would mean for your wallet