Maui News

State Rep. Mizuno Victim of Unemployment Fraud; Urges Residents To Take Precautions

January 7, 2021, 9:44 AM HST
* Updated January 7, 9:48 AM
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Vice Speaker: John M. Mizuno

State Rep. John M. Mizuno (D-28), Vice Speaker of the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives, has become the victim of unemployment fraud and has asked state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio to investigate the incident.

“I was just notified that someone had filed an unemployment claim using my name, work title, Social Security number and work address,” Mizuno said. ” I think this brazen act shows complete disregard of the law and how desperate criminals are using cybercrime to illegally secure financial gain. I am grateful we were able to identify this illegal act without harm and hopeful an investigation will trace the person or people responsible for this cybercrime.”

Under Hawaiʻi Revised Statues Sec. 708-895.5, unauthorized computer access in the first degree occurs when a person knowingly accesses a computer, computer system or computer network without authorization and thereby obtains information — and when the offense was committed for the purpose of commercial or private financial gain (stealing money).

Unauthorized computer access in the first degree is a class A felonyUnder Hawaiʻi’s laws, a class A felony is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000.

Mizuno said that amid the pandemic and beyond, Hawaiʻi must remain steadfast and focused on protecting personal information from cybercrime.

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“Perhaps what happened to me can be a teachable moment for others,” he said. “And yes, I did change all my passwords and doubled up my login for maximum cybersecurity protection.”

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CYBERCRIME SAFETY TIPS

1.  Safeguard your password protocol: Use the longest password permissible. Customize your password for different sites.

2.  Double your login protection:  Enable multi-factor authentication to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use this practice for email, social media and any service that requires logging in.

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3.  If you connect – you must protect: Keep your computer, smartphone, game device or other network devices updated with the latest security software, web browser and operating systems.

4. Protect your personal information & be wary of links & hyperlinks: Protect yourself from “spear-phishing” attacks on you when cyber criminals use social engineering with details from your social pages to try to manipulate you into skipping normal security protocol. Also, avoid clicking links and hyperlinks in emails to verify authenticity.

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