InvestigateTV - Season 2; Episode 14

A look at pandemic unemployment relief and the billions lost to potential fraud. Plus, one of the world’s largest retailers takes action on fake online reviews.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 1:26 PM CST
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InvestigateTV - This Week on InvestigateTV: When the pandemic hit, the unemployment system was put to the ultimate test, but amongst the aid, billions lost to potential fraud. Consumer Investigator Caresse Jackman digs into the numbers to find out where the money went and what’s being done to protect your tax dollars in the future. Plus, Consumer Investigator Rachel DePompa continues to dig into fake online reviews as one of the world’s largest retailers takes action and files suit.WHERE TO WATCH ICYMI – Watch last week’s episode.

Fraud Files: In the opening months of the pandemic, millions of people rushed to file for unemployment as the country shut down. As a result, hundreds of billions of federal dollars poured into the unemployment insurance system. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, with all that money came a significant amount of fraud. In a September 2022 report, the U.S. DOL Inspector General said over the course of the pandemic, $45.6 billion was paid in potentially fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. In “Fraud Files”, Consumer Investigator Caresse Jackman explores a system one expert said was vulnerable before pandemic began. She also sits down with the Department of Labor to learn what changes are taking place to ensure your tax dollars stay safe. Plus, she digs into the numbers at the state level to see just how much was lost to potential fraud.

Five Star Fakes 2.0 and 3.0: Our national investigative team continues their look into fake online reviews with a pair of new “Five Star Fakes” investigations. According to the World Economic Forum, fake online reviews cost businesses and consumers $152 billion a year. BrightLocal research found 82% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year. Now, one of the largest retailers in the world is fighting back, as Amazon is suing the administrators of more than 11,000 Facebook Groups. In the first story, Consumer Investigator Rachel DePompa gets expert analysis of the legal battle and breaks down the best ways to avoid Five Star Fakes. In the second story, DePompa examines how the reputations of local businesses are being damaged. She speaks with a small business owner targeted by fake reviews and the online investigator who helped her uncover the problem.

Watching Your Wallet – Employment Scams: According to the Better Business Bureau, an estimated 14 million people are exposed to employment scams every year. In this Watching Your Wallet, Consumer Investigator Caresse Jackman examines scammer strategies and explains how you can protect yourself while you’re on the hunt for a new job.