Scammers filing for unemployment in PA are delaying payments to legitimate applicants

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is seeing a spike in people trying to scam the unemployment system. It says that’s causing delays in getting unemployment benefits to those who really need them.

Secretary of the department Jerry Oleksiak says Pennsylvanians applying for unemployment money may not be getting it.

“People who are legitimately seeking access to those funds are being prevented because the fraudsters have done their nefarious deeds to prevent that access,” Oleksiak said.

Those scammers are applying for money that isn’t theirs to claim.

“The fraudsters, as we’ve said, have been using previously stolen personal information through data breaches that occurred outside of Pennsylvania to file for PUA using stolen identities,” Oleksiak said.

They’re working with investigators to find the fraudsters and to make sure no more get let in. But, that’s causing delays for legitimate applicants.

“Applications for the the PUA program are still being accepted, but new payouts are being postponed until the new verification methods are implemented,” Oleksiak said. “We hope that will be very soon.”

They know this money matters, so they’re doing everything they can to get it into the right hands.

“We realize this is a vital lifeline for many of them. That’s why we are working constantly to make sure that we can get through the fraud issues,” Oleksiak said.

If you want to report any fraud to the department you can do so here.

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