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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in identity theft and unemployment fraud.

Over the past week, there has been at least 6 reports of identity theft and unemployment fraud within the franklin county area. (note that this is only covering Franklin County and not surrounding counties or areas)

Victims are receiving unemployment checks in their names that they did not apply for. How can you prevent your identity from being stolen or your information being used in unemployment fraud?

Below are just a few incidents regarding unemployment fraud:

  • On 7/15/21 at 1200 hours, it was determined that unknown actors had obtained a victim’s personal information and applied for unemployment. She also received a check in her name that she did not request.
  • On 7/12/21 at 1123 hours, Pennsylvania State Police responded to McCreary Rd for a report of unemployment fraud.
  • On 7/12/21 at 1110 hours, PSP once again responded to a report of unemployment fraud. It was determined that unknown individuals had determined the man’s personal identification and filed for unemployment. The victim’s social security number was stolen.
  • On 7/11/21 at 1200 hours, PSP responded to Autumnfest Court for a report of unemployment fraud. Unknown actors once again obtained the victim’s social security number and attempted to apply for unemployment.
  • On 7/12/21 at 1110 hours, PSP responded to another report of unemployment fraud. The victims social security number was obtained.
  • On 7/13/21 at 1243 hours, PSP responded to another similar call on Grindstone Hill Rd.

What to Do if You’re Effected How do I Know if I’m a Victim?

You may be a victim if you experience the following:

  • When you try to file an unemployment claim.
  • If you receive unrequested unemployment paperwork from the Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Unemployment Compensation.
  • If you get unemployment benefit payments you did not apply for from the Pennsylvania Treasury.
  • If your employer receives notice that a claim has been opened even though you are still working.

Steps to take

Contact the state unemployment office through this website. It was created just to report unemployment fraud and identity theft.

Use the website only if you believe that your information was stolen or if someone makes a false unemployment claim using your information.

If a claim is made even though you’re still employed, the state unemployment offices will contact your employer to verify if you’re still working.

If someone is filing for unemployment using your identity, it is very likely that they have your social security number. Making you a victim of identity fraud.

Go to the identity theft website run by the Federal Trade Commision at IdentityTheft.gov and follow the step by step guide.

After that, file a police report and request a copy of the report.

Even though it is very unlikely that police will catch the thief, some forms of identity theft insurance require a police report to make a claim.

© 2021, Donovan Vincent. All rights reserved.