For Immediate Release Thursday, May 28, 2020. Wilmington, DE
The Delaware Department of Labor releases Fraud Prevention guidelines for employers and claimants to protect against identity theft and fraud involving unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past few weeks, 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.
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
- or a letter notifying you of your potential eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but you have not applied for unemployment.
During this Pandemic, the Delaware Department of Labor has not identified any successful attempts of identity theft and/or fraud regarding Unemployment Insurance benefits. However, we have 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 your complaint can be filed online.
Delawareans with questions about coronavirus [COVID-19] or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov.
For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.
Director of Communications
Delaware Department of Labor