Unemployment Fraud Alert - Update 7/20

The West Manchester Township Police Department is experiencing a large number of reports involving Unemployment Benefits Fraud.  The following information from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry is offered as a guide should you find yourself a victim of such fraud.  Should you determine that you need to file a report with this department after following these guidelines please dial 911 to reach an officer.  

The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is seeing an increase in fraudulent attempts to apply for unemployment benefits using previously stolen identities.

This is a widespread issue affecting unemployment programs in every state. L&I continues to work closely with its counterparts, as well as federal and state authorities, to hold fraudsters accountable and implement methods to identify and block these fraud attempts.

Signs of fraud include:

  • Individuals receiving unrequested unemployment paperwork from L&I's Office of Unemployment Compensation (UC).
  • Individuals receiving unemployment benefit payments they did not apply for from the Pennsylvania Treasury.
  • Employers receiving notice that a claim has been opened for a current employee who is actively working, or an unknown person.

What to do when someone files for unemployment benefits using your identity

  • File a report with police as prescribed in the PA Crimes Code, Section 4120 Identity Theft, Subsection e.1 Venue :
    • Contact the police department in the jurisdiction covering the business address of the person whose identifying information has been lost, stolen or used without the person's consent  (OR)
    • Contact the police department in the municipality you resided in at the time the unemployment fraud occurred/benefits in question were paid.
  • Victims should also report the fraud to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.  Victims should only file the complaint with L&I one time.
    • Traditional unemployment fraud should be reported online at the UC Benefits Website, https://benefits.uc.pa.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx, click "Report Fraud Here" at the bottom of the page to complete and submit the Identity Theft Form.  Do NOT log in.
    • Fraud connected to the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program should be reported here PUA Fraud.
    • Victims who are legitimately collecting unemployment, but their accounts have been hijacked and money rerouted, should call the Fraud Hotline at (800) 692-7469.
    • Victims who receive checks or US Bank debit cards in the mail should return them to L&I with a brief signed statement as to the reason for the return, as well as a phone number and email address.  Checks should be marked VOID.  Both checks and debit cards should be returned to:
      • Pennsylvania Treasury
        651 Boas Street, Room 400
        L&I Building
        Harrisburg, PA 17120

  • Start a recovery plan with the Federal Trade Commission by visiting www.identitytheft.gov.
  • Notify your employer of the situation if they are not already aware.  Follow any specific guidelines or procedures your employer may have in place.

How to protect yourself against unemployment scams

  • Never give out your personal information over email or text message.
  • Don’t open or respond to unsolicited emails or text messages.
  • Never give out your personal information on websites or social media channels – especially those that claim they can help you apply for unemployment benefits. Third parties can’t apply for your benefits.
  • Don’t trust or rely on unemployment benefits info from unofficial websites – always visit www.uc.pa.gov for Pennsylvania unemployment program information. 
Visit www.uc.pa.gov for more unemployment fraud information and tips.