by Alex Lloyd Gross
Stolen identities, bogus cards and scams are just a small part of what people will do to illegally get money. The extra $600.00 per week that was given to workers was an incentive to steal. So con artists and other miscreants got to “work” devising plans to steal money from the coffers of the government. Believe it or not, people have applied for unemployment benefits for complete strangers. hoping to get their info and collect money.
United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that federal and state law enforcement, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, and together with measures implemented by US Bank, have successfully prevented over $44 million from reaching criminals The following points are indicative of a scam being played on you.
- You have not applied for unemployment benefits but you receive a PA Treasury check or direct deposit or a debit card issued by US Bank that you did not know about or apply for.
- You receive correspondence from the PA Department of Labor & Industry or the PA Department of Treasury about receiving unemployment assistance that you did not apply for.
- Someone comes to your home that you do not know and tells you that their unemployment assistance check or debit card was mistakenly mailed to you.
- Someone asks you to use your bank account to deposit their unemployment assistance.
- Someone, in person or electronically, tells you that you are entitled to unemployment assistance and requests personal identifying information from you.
- Someone offers to help you file for unemployment benefits for a fee.
- Someone claims to be from the government and asks for a fee or personal information to complete your PUA application.
United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that federal and state law enforcement, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, and together with measures implemented by US Bank, have successfully prevented over $44 million from reaching criminals who attempted to steal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) funds in Pennsylvania. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG) utilized sophisticated data analytics to identify the fraudulent claims. The Department of Labor & Industry provided program assistance and data, and DOL-OIG was supported by the U.S. Attorney’s Office-led Coronavirus Working Group of federal and state law enforcement agencies in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
PUA is funded entirely by federal dollars under the CARES Act and the program is administered by the state. Data analytics enabled DOL-OIG and the other law enforcement agencies to trace clusters of fraudulent claims for PUA funds back to the same criminals. The Department of Labor & Industry then used the information to stop the payment of PUA funds to those criminals.
- This kind of fraud happens in every zip code . If any of the bullet points listed above have happened to you, you should contact local law enforcement and report it online tohttp://dlisecureweb.pa.gov/FRTS/BenefitsFraud.aspx you can also call the PA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469.