Michigan residents warned about insurance breach that could lead to unemployment fraud

By Journal Staff

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Anita Fox are warning Michiganders about a GEICO insurance breach.

In a notice filed in April, the company informed affected customers that, “We recently determined that between January 21, 2021 and March 1, 2021, fraudsters used information about you – which they acquired elsewhere – to obtain unauthorized access to your driver’s license number through the online sales system on our website. We have reason to believe that this information could be used to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits in your name…”

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is not aware of this breach directly impacting Michiganders at this time but is working to detect any fraudulent behavior.

GEICO reported it has since secured the affected website and implemented additional security measures to prevent future fraud. GEICO is also offering a one-year subscription to IdentityForce, which is noted in the letter sent to customers.

“Unfortunately, bad actors will go to great lengths to steal personal information and the GEICO breach is another example of that,” Nessel said in a statement. “I encourage GEICO customers to check for correspondence from the company. This also serves as a reminder that all of us should be checking account statements and credit reports for unauthorized activity.”

Fox said in a statement, “Cybersecurity is critical in the insurance market as increasingly sophisticated criminals try to access consumers’ highly sensitive personal information maintained by their insurers.

DIFS continues to work with our regulated industries and national partners to ensure that Michiganders’ private information is protected from cybersecurity risks.”

Michigan consumers, including GEICO customers, who receive paperwork from UIA but never filed a claim should report the fraud online through the agency.

To learn more about preventing identity theft and fraud, visit the UIA’s website and scrolling to the “Fraud and Identity Theft” section at https://bit.ly/3aVFKuT.

DIFS can help consumers with insurance questions and complaints from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442 or anytime at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.


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