They call it imposter fraud — a common type of cybercrime that’s currently bringing Washington state’s unemployment system to its knees.
Officials admitted yesterday that our state has lost “hundreds of millions of dollars” to overseas scammers who filed false claims using other people’s information. The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) — already overwhelmed by a record number of claims — says processing time is now taking a day or two longer so workers can further scrutinize the tens of thousands of claims coming in each day.
Wondering if your information was used by scammers? Even if you’re employed, you can create an account on the ESD website to see whether your social security number was linked to a claim without your knowledge. If so, here’s where to submit a fraud report.
In other news…
We’re no longer No. 1 … or even No. 2. Newly released 2019 census data put Seattle way down at No. 6 among the country’s fastest-growing major cities. But with a whopping 145,000 people moving here in the past decade, we’ll still claim the title of fastest-growing major city of the 2010s. 🏆 (The Seattle Times)
The largest family homeless shelter in Washington state just opened inside Amazon’s Regrade office complex. Mary’s Place will operate the new eight-floor facility, which can house up to 200 people per night. (GeekWire)
Our city leaders have repeatedly said hate crimes and racial bias toward Asian-Americans won’t be tolerated in the COVID-19 era. But the response to an incident outside the SoDo Home Depot shows that talking the talk and walking the walk are two very different things. (South Seattle Emerald)
And on a related note (sigh), SPD’s Bias Crimes Unit has released video of a man attacking and spitting on a couple in downtown Seattle. If you recognize the perpetrator, call 206-233-5000. (SPD Blotter)
Shoutout to the 575 awesome Seattleites who support us each month with a paid membership.
Want in on the action? Sign up as an Evergrey member, and don’t forget to fill out that form. ☝️
📈 Mingle with other professional womxn of color at a virtual conference (Online)
🛍️ Join Urban Craft Uprising for a virtual shopping event (Online)
🎬 Tune in to the Stranger's first-ever Confinement Film Festival (Online)
🎶 Support Nectar Lounge at a pay-what-you-can livestream concert (Online)
🎧 Listen in as two DJs mix and record a local hip-hop set (Online)
🐐 Take the family on a drive-thru wildlife adventure (Pierce County)
🍿 Pay tribute to Lynn Shelton by streaming one of her movies (Online)
🎶 Tune in to the virtual version of the Northwest Folklife Festival (Online) —starts Saturday
✊ Join Young Women Empowered for a weeklong leadership summit (Online) —through Saturday
🔎 Learn how to separate pandemic facts from fiction (Online)
🚀 Blast off to outer space with the Pacific Science Center (Online)
If your weekend plans include picking up some craft beer, here’s another reminder about why it’s important to support the local little guy.
As we’ve mentioned before, COVID-19 closures hit breweries without canning systems and big distribution networks especially hard. To help make ends meet, John Marti of Lowercase Brewing recently moved out of his $1,000-a-month apartment and into a storage room at the brewery.
“We are all experiencing this in one way or another,” Marti told Seattle Refined. “Somehow I find comfort in that — that we are in this together and you are not alone.”
We’ll drink to that. 🍻