The Delaware Department of Labor has released Fraud Prevention guidelines for employers and claimants to protect against identity theft and fraud involving unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several states have reported incidents of identity theft and payment fraud regarding unemployment benefits during this pandemic. States such as New York, Rhode Island, and Washington State have seen an increase in fraudulent activity regarding Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
The Labor Department has stared that verifying claims due to improper information and possible fraud attempts has held up payments around the country.
This type of fraud is not limited to employers and employees, it may also impact the general public who may or may not be receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
The following are signs of potential Unemployment Insurance benefit fraud that all should be aware of;
Guidelines for Employers:
- If you receive a separation notice for an employee who is still employed. This may be a sign of fraud.
- If you receive a separation notice for an employee who was laid off prior to the pandemic, you may want to consider reaching out to that former employee to determine whether they applied for Unemployment insurance.
Guidelines for Active Employees and the General Public
Who Have Not Applied for Unemployment:
You may have received fraudulent correspondence if you have received any of the following:
- A letter stating that you have received a monetary determination regarding unemployment insurance.
- A notification that you have failed the Unemployment Insurance application security verification assessment
- A letter notifying you of your potential eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but you have not applied for unemployment.
The Delaware Department of Labor has identified failed fraud attempts due to failed security verification checks.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with State and federal agencies to safeguard personal information and ensure that we provide Unemployment Insurance benefits only to those who apply legally. Any attempts at fraudulent activity will be addressed and referred to law enforcement. The DOL routinely screens out benefit fraud attempts with the verification checks built into our automated system and during this pandemic has not identified any successful attempts of identity theft and/or fraud regarding Unemployment Insurance benefits,” the Labor Department stated
We ask all Delawareans to be vigilant in reporting possible fraudulent activity or identity theft. Please send any relevant information to the Delaware Department of Labor by sending an email to email@example.com. Please include any information that may support our investigation into the incident.Please report the incident to your local police department, and finally file a complaint with Fraud and Consumer Protection Division at State Attorney General’s Office. This division is designed to help victims of identity theft. To file a complaint call (302) 577-8600 or visit https://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/fraud/cpu/complaint/ where a complaint can be filed online.