HARRISBURG – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) reports an increase in the number of calls to her district office in Hazleton from residents who may have been scammed out of their unemployment compensation (UC) benefits.
“The recent rise in the number of calls we’re getting is disturbing, but there is little we can do other than provide information on how to file a report with the authorities,” said Toohil. “These unscrupulous scammers are using phishing attempts and social media to gather personal information from unsuspecting victims in order to steal their identities and file a fraudulent UC claim.”
Residents who think they are the target of an unemployment benefits scam should do the following:
• To report someone who has filed for UC benefits using your personal information such as your name, Social Security Number and date of birth without your knowledge or consent, please visit the UC Benefits Website at benefits.uc.pa.gov
and click “Report Fraud” at the bottom of the page to complete and submit the identity theft form. Do not log in.
• To report identity fraud related to federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), visit dlisecureweb.pa.gov/FRTS/IdentityTheft.aspx
Toohil noted that the most recent scams include telling individuals they have won a contest or cash prize, or are eligible for a monetary award for applying for benefits. Another scam offers a faster alternative or mobile app to apply for benefits.
The state Department of Labor and Industry’s security vendor, ID.me, recently estimated that half of the pandemic’s unemployment benefits (up to $400 billion) may have been stolen by scammers working for criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere.
Learn more about reporting UC fraud at uc.pa.gov
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office