Pennsylvania unemployment scam reports increasing: victim speaks out

Pennsylvania

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s no secret that Pennsylvania’s unemployment system has been riddled with problems, and scams are making things even more difficult.

A Dauphin County man is worried the fraud situation he’s been dealing with, is something that’s happening to others, who are waiting on benefits from the state and simply aren’t aware.

“I’m probably sure I’m not the only one out there. Other people just don’t realize it. If they’re sitting in unemployment, and it’s been over four weeks and you haven’t gotten a PIN or anything like that, you better take the time, it’s going to take time, over an hour to get ahold of somebody,” Clinton Shoop said.

And oftentimes it’ll take much longer than that, according to viewers. Shoop lost his job in January but discovered in November that someone tried to claim unemployment benefits under his name.

“I immediately got ahold of state police. I went to the credit bureau, put a fraud alert on all the credit reports. I took all the steps that you have to take and it’s still a mess,” said Shoop.

He said the state only recently started looking into fixing the problem, and that it could take months to resolve. Department officials told us the reason for this, is likely the high volume of fraudulent claims they’ve received, a similar story that Shoop heard from state police.

“They’ve got tons of them. That’s what I was explained. I mean it’s really hard to take one case and try to run with it, when you’ve got probably hundreds facing you,” Shoop said.

If you received a 1099-G tax form for 2020 but did not apply for unemployment benefits, you are likely the victim of identity fraud and should report it right away.

“Probably this is all said and done, and settled, and they’ve got the claim straightened out, I’ll probably have another job or doing something, but yes I’m entitled to whatever from back in January forward,” said Shoop.

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