Law enforcement and DOL warn of unemployment insurance fraud

Posted at 12:58 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 18:27:23-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The NYS Department of Labor said it has identified more than 425,000 fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits, stopping scammers from stealing more than $5.5 billion in benefits.

The DOL said criminals are using the identities of New Yorkers that were likely stolen during previous data breaches involving banks, insurance companies, and major employers.

They then file fraudulent claims and illegally collect benefits in the name of individuals who are not unemployed.

If you received a letter from the New York State Department of Labor about unemployment benefits that you have not filed for, you could be a victim of unemployment insurance fraud, and you can report it here.

Fill out the information as best as you can, and include your contact information - all of this will remain confidential.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office issued a fraud alert after receiving multiple complaints about unemployment insurance fraud.

They encourage you to check your bank account regularly and make sure there isn't someone getting your benefits.

You can also call the DOL's hotline: (888) 598-2077

The DOL said it has referred hundreds of thousands of fraud cases to federal prosecutors, and continues to work with law enforcement partners on the federal, state, and local level to hold fraudsters accountable.