Were 12,000 warrants served to people in Greensboro, NC involved in an unemployment scam? No, that's not true: There is no record of an unemployment scam investigation that generated 12,000 warrants, according to local officials contacted by Lead Stories.
The claim appeared in a Facebook meme (archived here) where it was published on August 27, 2020. It read:
Greensboro n.c just served 12,000 Warrants for Unemployment Scam
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Aug 27 15:24:29 2020 UTC)
In a Facebook messenger chat on August 26, the Facebook user who posted the claim said she saw it elsewhere on Facebook, but was unable to provide Lead Stories with the link.
A North Carolina TV station reported The North Carolina Division of Employment Security only flagged around 870 suspected cases of identity theft/misrepresentation through the end of July, a far cry from 12,000.
When it comes to criminal proceedings, magistrates are responsible for issuing warrants. A spokesperson for Guilford County's criminal magistrate's office said, "I have no knowledge of that, I don't believe that's true," when asked about the claim that 12,000 warrants were issued in a crackdown on an unemployment scam in a phone interview.
"I believe that is a false claim," said Ron Glenn, the public information officer for the Greensboro Police Department, in a phone interview.
The editor of the local Greensboro newspaper said there has been no story about a mass of warrants nor a major unemployment fraud case. "Neither our police reporter nor city reporter have heard anything like this," said Cindy Loman, an editor for the Greensboro News & Record, in an email.
From March 1 to July 1, The North Carolina Division of Employment Security did flag "thousands of suspicious claims," according to WNCN, but there is still no evidence of 12,000 warrants being issued.