Incidents of unemployment fraud continue to rise, thanks mainly to identity theft. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s security vendor ID.me, identity thieves are using “phishing attempts and fraud scams leveraging social media, text messaging, and email to lure unsuspecting individuals into providing personal information so that the scammers can claim their identity.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has outlined the following as red flags that a fraudulent unemployment claim was filed involving you or your company:
You receive notification about an unemployment claim for an employee who never worked for you.
It’s likely that the person has no idea their name is being used or the name does not belong to a person to begin with. Many of these scammers file multiple claims at a time, choosing random Pennsylvania employers.
What to do?
Mark “Never worked here” on the form and send it back to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.
You receive notice regarding an employee who is fully and currently employed by you.
Ask the employee if he or she opened a claim. If they did not file the unemployment claim, it’s probably the work of a scammer using their identity. Instruct the employee to report the fraud to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (links and information posted below).
You receive notice that you have filed an unemployment claim, except you haven’t.
This means your identity was stolen and you should report the fraud to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.
How to Report Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Fraud
These forms can also be completed over the phone by calling the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Fraud Hotline at 800-692-7469.
Employers Should Report Suspected Fraud as Quickly as Possible
If you receive paperwork, it does not necessarily mean that payments have or will be made on that claim. Either way, it is important for you to report it to us as soon as possible. You will not be charged for benefits paid to those committing fraud via identity theft. If payments are not stopped upfront, then there will be an overpayment set up when the situation is investigated. As always, overpayments credit your account and you are not charged for benefits that were overpaid.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has additional resources concerning unemployment compensation fraud that you can access here.
If we can be of any assistance, please contact us online or call 215-723-4881.