Updated ID.me statements on the House Oversight Committee report

From: TerryNeal – Chief Communications Officer – ID.me

MCLEAN, Va., November 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ID.me is a digital identity network that has dramatically expanded access to government services for underprivileged Americans. Since its inception, ID.me has pioneered alternative ways for millions of people to verify their identities online, especially those who have no credit history, low bank accounts, homelessness or living abroad and therefore struggle to access to government benefits. As reported, ID.me has nearly doubled the number of people who can create an IRS account and made it easier for many Americans — including those on low incomes and minorities — to access their tax information.

About fraud prevention for states:

ID.me provided critical assistance to state unemployment offices dealing with an historic amount of fraud and demand from Americans in need. Five states have credited ID.me with helping prevent it $238 billion in case of fraud. California only credited ID.me for helping prevent it $125 billion in case of fraud. The total sum – $238 billion – is more than from China annual defense budget for 2021. National security officials believe the fraud has grown to the point of economic warfare the United States. The Deputy Deputy Director of the FBI, Jay Greenbergsaid, “It’s definitely an economic attack on the United States.” Jeremy Sheridanwho heads the Secret Service investigative office called it “the biggest fraud scheme I’ve ever come across.”

On the $400 billion estimation:

ID.me based our initial estimate on our observations in detecting and preventing identity fraud between 2020 and 2021. We had already helped more than 20 states deal with spikes in COVID-related benefit claims before putting forward a perspective on an overall fraud rate.

Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released an audit finding that 42.4 percent of pandemic unemployment benefits were improperly paid in four states they assessed. Further, Michigan reported $8.5 billion dollars for fraudulent payments, a fraud rate of approx $850 million for every million residents of the state. The Heritage Foundation also calculated $357 billion dollars in improper payments during testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, Elizabeth Rosenbergnoted, “When some states, such as Arizona, acknowledging that they were being scammed, they partnered with a digital ID company called ID.me. Almost immediately the fraud ring saw that the game was over.’ Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Nick Johnson said pandemic fraud numbers are falling thanks to ID.me verification, but added that the numbers are not at zero. saw, thousands and thousands of victims coming in almost daily, that’s done because of the verification,” Johnson said.

When government agencies realized the scale of fraud that had entered their systems before identity verification was implemented, many of them asked ID.me to mass verify claimants for months to prevent criminal organizations and individual fraudsters from paying hundreds of dollars a week on an ongoing basis. base. This situation, with ID.me having to verify a much larger number of people than predicted in the short term, certainly increased video chat verification times for legitimate claimants. We worked tirelessly to serve Americans in need of help, and we regret the long waits individuals endured as we fought to eradicate fraud from the system. This situation was short-lived and temporary and was caused by historic fraud. With the exception of specific episodes, wait times were generally less than 30 minutes as they are today.

ID.me recognizes that fraud is a difficult number to pinpoint and has provided our estimate as an additional data point. In March 2022DOL OIG revised their estimate of improper payments from $87 billion until $163 billion and noted that the actual percentage is “probably higher” as the audit work was not yet complete. In his September 2022 report, DOL OIG cited barriers to “OIG’s timely and complete access to state UI claims data to help detect and deter fraud.” Calling ID.me’s estimate too high or unfounded is premature and we welcome further investigation into this important issue.

California EDD – $125 billion
“EDD takes an aggressive approach to anti-fraud and these anti-fraud efforts have blocked an estimate $125 billion in attempted unemployment insurance fraud during the pandemic.”

New Jersey DOL – $5.4 billion
“To date, NJDOL has identified more than 500,000 attempted fraudulent claims and more than $5.4 billion in losing.”

Georgia DOL – $10 billion
“By identity verification, Georgia prevented an estimate $10 billion fraudulent payments.”

Arizona DES – $75 billion
Because Arizona was one of the first states to implement program integrity measures, the Department estimates it has prevented more than $75 billion in unemployment fraud.”

Florida DEO – $23 billion
“Security of claimants’ information is a top priority for the Department, and DEO is working with ID.me to assess how the new configuration will impact relocation assistance claimants. DEO is committed to ensuring that every time a new process is offered, it is thoroughly vetted.Through the current process with ID.me, DEO is estimated to have prevented $23 billion since then in potentially fraudulent payments March 2020after a careful review of the blocked Reemployment Assistance accounts.”

About waiting times:

During COVID, the number of Americans trying to access unemployment benefits through government agencies was unprecedented, and many states used outdated or inadequate technology. ID.me employees worked tirelessly to help states with this massive influx, verifying identities in accordance with government guidelines so individuals could receive needed benefits. More than 80 percent of users verify their identity through a self-service path, typically within 10 minutes. Those needing a live agent faced long wait times due to this sheer volume, the impact of COVID, and state governments’ lack of modern technology. To prepare for such emergencies in the future, ID.me has invested in staff and technology to handle volume peaks.

For example, in early 2021, ID.me managed sudden spikes in unexpected volume as states took urgent action to stop the economic attack on their unemployment program by fraudsters.

Focusing on these challenging periods only tells part of the story. In June 2021 – less than three months later – ID.me was able to meet the significantly higher authentication demand with stable, short waiting times. Working with the IRS, ID.me’s support of the Advanced Childcare Tax Credit Program quadrupled the number of verifications in a matter of weeks. At the same time, ID.me was able to reduce waiting times to less than 15 minutes, thanks to close collaboration with the agency during the preparation and launch.

Blake Hall LinkedIn post on the House Oversight Committee statement:

Today, House Oversight released a statement falsely accusing me of using a fraud allegation to win identity verification contracts for unemployment. I want to address that right here.

ID.me was already under contract to 43 government agencies, including 26 state unemployment agencies, before I ever estimated $400 billion in improper unemployment benefits. We released our estimate as concerned citizens shocked by the scale of fraud we witnessed in several states.

Our goal was to raise awareness of this crisis, that FBI deputy deputy director, Jay Greenberga so-called “economic attack”. the United States. Jeremy Sheridanwho heads the Secret Service’s investigative office also noted that it was “the biggest fraud scheme I’ve ever come across”.

Five states have independently credited ID.me with helping prevent $238 billion in fraud. Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Nick Johnson said, “The massive volume, what we saw, thousands upon thousands of victims coming in almost daily, that’s done because of the (ID.me) verification,” Johnson said.

Any claim that we made a fraud claim to advance our business ignores the fact that 43 agencies chose ID.me before the statement was ever made.

The procurement process to select a supplier is based on capabilities, not fraud context. ID.me has earned the right to support the government because of our certifications to NIST 800-63-3 security and privacy requirements. We also have differentiated access and equity features that we’ve developed over many years to help historically underserved communities. Given the context, we’re proud of the work we’ve done to enable agencies to process claims more efficiently to serve millions of Americans faster while avoiding the loss of hundreds of billions of tax dollars.

As a combat platoon leader and soldier in Iraq who risked my life to serve the United States of America, I would never use a national crisis claim to advance my company’s interests. My loyalty to my country trumps my loyalty to my company. We welcome additional oversight on this important issue so that Americans have a full accounting of what has happened to pandemic benefit funds.



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