Many of our counties and county employees have reported receiving fraudulent unemployment claim forms. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has seen a spike in fraudulent claims since Christmas when the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program ended on December 26th. Recent legislation has since extended these benefits by 11 weeks.
Fraudsters who were targeting federal funds from the PUA began targeting Colorado’s State unemployment system in higher numbers. Employees have reported receiving U.S. Bank ReliaCards, which the state uses to pay unemployment benefits, in the mail. At the same time, employers have reported receiving paperwork from the CDLE asking them to verify the unemployment claims. Phil Spesshardt, the Department of Labor’s benefits services manager, stated that fraudsters are stealing mail and using addresses from rental and for-sale home listings to file false claims.
The CDLE recommends that victims of fraud take the steps shown below:
The CDLE also advises fraud victims to contact the three consumer credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on their name and social security number. Some fraud alert systems are automated and require callers to enter their social security number and date of birth. Never give this information or other personally identifiable information (e.g., bank account numbers, account passwords, etc.) to someone who calls you over the phone.
Credit Bureau Contact Info: Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 Experian: 1-888-397-3742 TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
What This Means for Counties
CTSI administers member counties' property and liability, worker’s compensation, and health pools. CTSI does not handle unemployment benefits. For more information about unemployment fraud, visit https://cdle.colorado.gov/fraud-prevention or contact the CDLE.
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