Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How To Report Unemployment Fraud In Pa

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Unemployment Fraud Continues For State And Some Legitimate Claimants In Pennsylvania

Unemployment fraud continues to be major problem in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania recently overhauled its unemployment compensation system but problems remain.

Pamela Jerry found out last year someone had tried to file for unemployment benefits using her name and other personal information.

Both she and her employer notified the state that the filing wasnt legitimate Jerry was employed, and the claim appeared to be one of thousands of fraudulent attempts to get benefits from the state that have been filed by thieves since the start of the pandemic.

She didnt think too much more about it at the time.

Then, months later, Jerry, of Bucks County, actually was laid off from her retail job.

Something in the back of my head, of course, said Oh no, because I hoped the state had cleared all this stuff up, she said.

It hadnt.

Jerry has been trying unsuccessfully to file for unemployment benefits since October of last year, and has been depleting her savings. Shes hoping shell soon get what shes owed after months of assistance from her state senators office.

Her situation encapsulates a problem Pennsylvanias unemployment compensation system is still grappling with, close to two years after the tsunami of claims at the start of the pandemic the state Department of Labor & Industry must figure out how to reject fraudulent claims, while still paying legitimate ones.

Legislators and advocates say the problem is massive, with serious consequences for people like Jerry and others who are owed money.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance Program: Fraud Detection And Prevention

The Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation administers the state’s unemployment insurance program and works with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment insurance detection and prevention methods as of 2021 included daily and weekly crosschecking of claims against state and national new hire directories, crosschecking claims against employer data , and investigating fraud tips from the public.

Received A 1099 But Never Filed For Benefits

Because the 1099 forms are automatically generated for all claimants who received unemployment compensation payments, the receipt of a 1099 form by a person who didn’t file for unemployment may indicate a case of identity fraud. If someone who didn’t file for unemployment receives what looks to be a 1099 tax form in the mail, they should report this suspected fraud immediately so L& I can correct their income with the IRS and prevent any issues with the victim’s taxes.

“With the recent escalation in fraudulent activity targeting Pennsylvania’s UC system, it is imperative that Pennsylvanians know the signs of fraud and act immediately if they suspect their identity has been stolen,” said Secretary Berrier. “L& I remains committed to working with law enforcement to identify cases of unemployment fraud. We cannot stress enough that L& I will never contact you to ask for personal information like your username, password or full Social Security number, so please do not provide it. And if you believe you are the victim of identity theft, please make us aware so we can take steps to prevent further criminal behavior and correct your situation.”

The IRS does provide additional information on Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits on its website, here.

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How Do I Appeal A Pennsylvania Unemployment Decision

You have the right to seek an appeal if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your original unemployment claim. You can request a hearing either online or via mail.

You can use the appeal form that came with your determination letter to seek a hearing by mail, or you can send your own letter to the address shown on your determination letter.

You have 15 days from the day your determination letter was postmarked to file an appeal. Your case will be reviewed by a Referee at this stage, who will make a second decision. The decision might then be appealed to the Board of Appeals. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania will hear any final appeals.

Unemployment Insurance Fraud In Pennsylvania

Report Unemployment Fraud In Pennsylvania
See also: Unemployment insurance fraud in the states

Unemployment insurance fraud is a term that refers to the unlawful receipt of unemployment insurance benefits by ineligible individuals. Unemployment insurance fraud occurs when an individual commits certain prohibited acts under the joint federal-state unemployment insurance program in order to claim benefits that they are not entitled to receive.

Unemployment insurance fraud is committed in a variety of ways with penalties ranging from monetary fines to incarceration, depending on the state.

This page provides information about unemployment insurance fraud in Pennsylvania.

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What To Do When Someone Files For Unemployment Benefits Using Your Identity:

  • File a form online:
  • File a report with police:
  • Contact police in the municipality where you resided at the time the unemployment fraud occurred/benefits in question were paid. The incident number or equivalent proof of law enforcement investigation must also be provided to the Office of Unemployment Compensation.
  • Start a recovery plan with the Federal Trade Commission by visiting the Federal Trade Commissions identity theft website.
  • Note: Failure to notify Labor & Industry of the fraud could result in an unjustified tax consequence at the end of the year.

    Learn The Behavior Of Fraudsters

    According to Sontiq, fraudsters often draw unemployment benefits using more than one person’s identity, leading to a spike of activity in specific cities or states. It’s also not uncommon for the scammers to file in multiple locations, meaning your name could show up in a totally random place. Look out for unexpected letters or 1099-G tax forms from any state’s unemployment insurance office, not just the state you live in.

    Taxpayers might also learn of fraud, or attempted fraud, in their name when they file taxes. For instance, the IRS might alert you after you file that you didn’t claim all of your income from 2020, when in fact you did. If this happens, it could be a sign that someone drew unemployment benefits in your name.

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    L& i Reports Escalation In Unemployment Compensation Fraud

    HARRISBURG, Pa. Officials are urging the public to remain vigilant as there has been an escalation in fraudsters attempting to steal unemployment compensation benefits.

    According to the Department of Labor & Industry , these fraudsters are using increasingly aggressive and sophisticated schemes. An examination is underway to determine the source of these attacks and the exact methods fraudsters are using to intercept legitimate UC payments.

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, foreign and domestic fraudsters have been exploiting unprecedented demand on the nations unemployment compensation systems that exist to protect hardworking Americans and their families during times of hardship, L& I Secretary Jennifer Berrier said. Fraud-detection measures have revealed an increased level of sophistication in the most recent attacks on our system.

    Berrier added that she is reaffirming the L& Is commitment to protecting Pennsylvanians personal data, thwarting attempts to steal public money and working with law enforcement agencies at every level to deter, catch and prosecute these fraudsters.

    However, in recent months, fraudsters targeted traditional UC.

    Since June, the L& I reportedly managed to prevent more than $4.7 billion in state and federal dollars from being paid out to fraudsters.

    Signs of fraud may include:

    Increase In Unemployment Fraud In Pa Linked To Identity Theft

    Unemployment fraud continues to be major problem in Pa.

    HARRISBURG, Pa. Fake unemployment applications are increasing in Pennsylvania and scammers could be using your name.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry said due to ongoing investigations it can not currently estimate the amount of fraudulent unemployment claims, but said the rise in bogus applications is tied to identity theft.

    The recent increase in fraud attempts are tied to prior leaks of personal and confidential data, like social security numbers, from sources outside of state government, Sarah DeSantis, Press Secretary, Department of Labor & Industry Office of Communications said.

    According to L& I, personal and confidential data information from attacks on private companies is often sold to scammers using the dark web.

    L& I says signs of fraud include receiving unrequested unemployment paperwork from L& Is Office of Unemployment Compensation, receiving unemployment benefit payments they did not apply for, and receiving a 1099G tax form for 2020 indicating they were paid unemployment benefits.

    Heres what you should do if your information has been used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim-file a police report where you live

    To report Identity Theft click here.

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    Unemployment Fraud Problems Continue For State Laid

    Pamela Jerry found out last year someone had tried to file for unemployment benefits using her name and other personal information.

    Both she and her employer notified the state that the filing wasnt legitimate Jerry was employed, and the claim appeared to be one of thousands of fraudulent attempts to get benefits from the state that have been filed by thieves since the start of the pandemic.

    She didnt think too much more about it at the time.

    Then, months later, Jerry, of Bucks County, actually was laid off from her retail job.

    Something in the back of my head, of course, said Oh no, because I hoped the state had cleared all this stuff up, she said.

    It hadnt.

    Jerry has been trying unsuccessfully to file for unemployment benefits since October of last year, and has been depleting her savings. Shes hoping shell soon get what shes owed after months of assistance from her state senators office.

    Her situation encapsulates a problem Pennsylvanias unemployment compensation system is still grappling with, close to two years after the tsunami of claims at the start of the pandemic the state Department of Labor & Industry must figure out how to reject fraudulent claims, while still paying legitimate ones.

    Legislators and advocates say the problem is massive, with serious consequences for people like Jerry and others who are owed money.

    His office still helps people with unemployment claims daily, he said.

    Tax Form Arriving Soon For Pennsylvanians Who Claimed Unemployment Benefits In 2021

    Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier reminded Pennsylvanians who claimed unemployment benefits in 2021 to monitor their mailboxes and unemployment system notifications for the 1099 form they will need to properly file their 2021 taxes.

    “With the arrival of a new year in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, many people may have filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in 2021 and may be unaware of just how important this 1099 form is when filing federal income tax,” said Secretary Berrier. “We urge all Pennsylvanians who received UC benefits in 2021 to keep an attentive eye on their mailboxes and/or their UC system dashboard for this critical form to arrive. If it’s mistakenly thrown away and needs to be reproduced by the Unemployment Compensation Service Center, that will likely cause the claimant delays in completing their tax filings.”

    Claimants of all unemployment programs offered during 2021 will receive a 1099 tax form detailing their benefit payments. This form will be available online and viewable in the same system where claimants file their weekly claims. For claimants who want a hard copy, physical 1099 tax forms will be mailed no later than January 31, 2022. All claimants also have the option to view 1099 tax forms from previous years, if applicable.

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    Sign Up For Identity Theft Protection

    While there’s no surefire way to prevent fraud from happening once your information lands in the wrong hands, you can sign up to receive timely notifications about suspicious activity pertaining to your credit report through .

    But for added protection, invest in a service that offers support specifically for identity restoration . Some services even come with identity theft insurance to cover costs such as hiring a lawyer and stolen fund reimbursement.

    In Select’s list of best identity theft services, we recommend IdentityForce® as the overall best program for its identity theft insurance up to $1 million and certified identity restoration experts who assist consumers with all of the necessary paperwork and phone calls if they discover their identity has been compromised by criminals.

    IdentityForce plans monitor thousands of websites, chat rooms, blogs and other data sources for illegal trading and selling of your personal information, including your social security number, driver’s license, credit and debit card numbers and much more. Knowing if your social security number has been compromised can help alert you to the possibility that you could be vulnerable to employment fraud.

    Here are four additional identity theft monitoring programs :

    How To Report Pennsylvania Unemployment Fraud

    Unemployment scam targets Massachusetts claimants

    IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO WORK WHILE YOU ARE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

    If you want to know how to report unemployment fraud, you must first be sure that someone is committing unemployment fraud. In the state of Pennsylvania it is a crime to knowingly collect unemployment benefits that you are not eligible to receive, and this is considered unemployment fraud. BUT, it is very important to note that IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO WORK WHILE YOU ARE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

    You may be able to work at a job and make a certain amount of money while still collecting unemployment benefits. When you apply for unemployment, this amount will be determined, and how this works will be explained to you by your unemployment counselor.

    If you do work while you are collecting unemployment benefits, it is VERY important that you follow the rules given to you by your unemployment counselor, which includes reporting where you work, how much you make every week, etc.

    If you suspect someone of committing unemployment fraud, you can contact the unemployment office to report them. You may be able to remain anonymous, or you may have to give your name and contact information to report them.

    When you make your report, be sure to give as much detailed information as possible, including the following:

    • Their name

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    How To Protect Yourself Against Unemployment Scams:

    • Never give out your personal information over email or text message
    • Do not 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 unemployment benefits. Third parties cant apply for your benefits
    • Do not trust or rely on unemployment benefits information from unofficial websites always visit Pennsylvanias unemployment compensation website for Pennsylvania unemployment program information

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    Fraud Causing Delays In Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits

    Unprecedented fraud and identity theft are causing major delays for unemployment recipients in Pennsylvania.

    More than 30 people have contacted 11 Investigates in just the past few days, desperate to get answers about why their unemployment claims are not being paid.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry says fraud is a major part of the problem.

    Fraudsters have increasingly targeted traditional UC in recent months, which contributes to a backlog of claims awaiting eligibility determinations, Labor & Industry Press Secretary Alex Peterson wrote to 11 Investigates in an email.

    11 Investigates Angie Moreschi talked to one Pennsylvania unemployment recipient whose account was hacked. Read on to learn more about what happened.

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    Recognize And Avoid General Uc Scams

    • Take these additional steps to protect yourself against general unemployment scams:
    • Never give out your personal information over email, text message, or social media messages.
    • Dont 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
    • Anyone claiming to work for L & I who says they need a fee to complete your application.
    • Dont 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 or resolve your issues. Third parties cant apply for your benefits.
    • Dont trust or rely on UC info from unofficial websites always visit www.uc.pa.gov for Pennsylvania unemployment program information.
    • If you need UC Benefits, always visit www.benefits.pa.gov, and do not file on any other site.

    L& I makes regular announcements on its social media pages and website regarding new fraud tactics and other important information. Please follow L& I on and and check our website regularly for updates.

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    Report Unemployment Tax Fraud

    Pa. State Troopers see increase in unemployment fraud reports

    Online: Complete and submit the Unemployment Tax Fraud form to report employers who evade UC taxes. This type of fraudulent conduct may include:

    • Payment of wages under the table
    • Failure to register as an employer with the Department of Labor & Industry
    • Failure to report all employees or wages paid
    • Assisting an employee in filing a fraudulent claim for UC benefits

    Phone: Call the PA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469, review the Unemployment Tax Fraud form above to ensure you have all the information prepared to provide your report.

    Mail or Fax: Report fraudulent activity regarding Pennsylvania unemployment compensation benefits or unemployment taxes. You may remain anonymous or give your name and a way to be contacted if additional information is needed.

    Pennsylvania Department of Labor and IndustryInternal AuditsGreencastle PA 17225

    Fax: 717-593-0265

    While we appreciate your information, the Pennsylvania UC Law prevents the Department of Labor & Industry from disclosing an investigation or its results. However, we investigate all allegations that contain sufficient information to identify the suspected wrongdoer and the questionable activity.

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