Unemployment Compensation Fraud
The OPD has recently received numerous reports of unemployment fraud. Victims and employers are receiving unemployment benefits, typically on debit cards they did not apply for.
Unemployment Compensation Fraud is a very serious matter. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is committed to preventing, identifying, and blocking scams and is continuing its aggressive efforts to do so, including:
We encourage Pennsylvanians to remain vigilant and to report fraud or any potential concerns of fraud to L&I. Cashing the checks or using direct deposited funds knowing that you have not applied for PUA or any other UC program may be deemed fraud and repayment will be required.
Recognize and Avoid COVID-19 UC Scams
The scammers behind the PUA fraud appear to be using Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to apply for and receive PUA benefits. In many situations, the victims are unaware that their personal information has been compromised.
Following are some warning signs of a possible COVID-19 scam:
- For workers – receiving any type of correspondence that you filed an unemployment claim when you did not file a claim for benefits.
- For employers – if you notice a claim has been filed for one or more of your employees who are still working.
In general, take these steps to protect yourself against unemployment scams:
- Never give out your personal information over email or text message.
Don’t wire money, and always ignore the following requests:
Communications related to your UC benefits from someone asking for money;
Someone who says they can help you file for your benefits for a fee; and
Anyone claiming to work for L&I who says they need a fee to complete your application.
- 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 UC benefits. Third parties can’t apply for your benefits.
- Don’t trust or rely on UC info from unofficial websites – always visit www.uc.pa.gov for Pennsylvania unemployment program information.
If you file a claim, save the following unemployment phone numbers to your phone so you know you’re receiving a legitimate call from L&I:
- 888-313-7284 – Regular UC
- 855-284-8545 – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)