Feb. 22, 2021

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)

State officials are again urging everyone to be alert to potential fraud in the wake of additional federal unemployment program funding, which has prompted increased attempts by scammers to steal people’s personal information.

In an effort to create fraudulent unemployment program claims or log into existing claims to redirect benefits payments, fraudsters are working to steal peoples’ usernames, passwords, unemployment Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and Social Security numbers. In many cases, they are relying on phishing or spoofing attempts, such as:
  •   Contacting intended victims by calling, texting, emailing or messaging via social media.
  •   Posing as representatives of the PA Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) or other government entities or groups to “help” claimants with issues so they can gather their personal and confidential information.
  •   Pretending to be unemployment claimants on Facebook or Twitter and offering to help legitimate claimants with their issues via phone or email, with the goal of stealing their personally identifiable information.

Pennsylvanians are reminded that L&I never contacts anyone and asks for their username, password, PIN or full Social Security number. Additionally, L&I does not communicate with claimants over social media and the only valid email addresses to contact Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Service Center are uchelp@pa.gov and ucpua@pa.gov.

Also be on the lookout for unemployment fraud that may indicate you have been a victim of identity theft. L&I officials say anyone who received a 1099-G form for unemployment benefits they did not apply for is likely the victim of a widespread national unemployment fraud issue and should take the necessary steps to report the fraud and protect their information.

Additional information about these fraud threats is available at www.dli.pa.gov.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil