Elk County District Attorney Tom Coppolo

Elk County District Attorney Tom Coppolo

JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM:

District Attorneys Stephanie L. Vettenburg-Shaffer (McKean); Thomas Coppolo (Elk), and Paul Malizia (Cameron)

 Re:  Unemployment Compensation Scams

Dated:  July 14, 2021

Recent warnings have been issued regarding the prevalence of Unemployment Compensation Scams in our area.  Even since these warnings were published, our area has been flooded with additional calls from citizens.  We are re-running the original press release to ensure residents in our tri-county area are alerted.
Area residents have been subject to scams in one of two ways: (1) someone has used their information to file for unemployment compensation benefits and retained the benefits, or (2) benefits have just appeared when a person has not filed for them either in the form of a paper check or as a deposit in their bank account.
If you were a victim of ID Theft, it is imperative to report the fraudulent activity to the Department and return the money if any has been received.  Doing so will remove these fraudulent payments from being reported as income at the end of the year 1099G distribution.
Social media, text messaging, and emails are being used to lure people into disclosing their identifying information that is then used to file for benefits.
If you have received unemployment compensation benefits that you have not filed for, Do Not Cash the Checks and Do Not Spend the Money.  Not only would you have to repay the money, but criminal charges are also possible.
You should also report the fraud to the state by following the below directions and file a police report with the police department in your jurisdiction.
For details, please see the Unemployment Compensation website at: https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/Report-Fraud-Here.aspx
In summary, Pennsylvania’s Office of Unemployment Compensation offers the following directions:
To return paper checks, Individuals should write "void" on the check and return it to:
Pennsylvania Treasury Department
651 Boas Street
Room 400 L&I Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
 
Anyone who received a direct deposit and did not file for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania should not use the funds. Using the funds knowing that you have not applied for PUA or any other UC program may be deemed fraud, and repayment will be required.
 
The funds should be returned to:
Department of Labor and Industry
651 Boas  St, Room 500
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Please include a brief signed statement with the reason you are returning the check and include:
  • Your printed name.
  • Address.
  • Last four of your social security number.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.
Phone: Call the PA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-74 prepared to provide your report.  

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