Headline RoundupDecember 5th, 2022

Secret Service Says CCP-Linked Hackers Stole $20M in US Pandemic Relief

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Secret Service acknowledged Monday that Chinese government-linked hackers have stolen at least $20 million in U.S. COVID-19 relief funds.

For Context: The stolen funds included Small Business Administration loans and unemployment insurance funds in over a dozen states. The Secret Service confirmed the news after NBC News (Lean Left bias) broke the story Monday, but didn't offer additional comment. It's the first time the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged any pandemic relief fraud committed by foreign, state-sponsored cybercriminals. In September, the Labor Department's inspector general estimated an improper payment rate of roughly 20% for the $872.5 billion in federal COVID-19 unemployment funds, and the true cost of the fraud may be even higher.

Key Quotes: "It would be crazy to think this group didn’t target all 50 states," said Roy Dotson, national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator for the Secret Service, to NBC News.

How the Media Covered It: Some headlines described the hackers as "Chinese," while others described them as "Chinese government-linked." Coverage across the spectrum highlighted the significant amount of COVID-19 relief funds obtained by fraudsters.

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