Following a scam to defraud the state's Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is continuing to monitor potential attacks of fraud within its system. Checks from PUA were sent out to some people who never applied.
"We're not the only state dealing with this," said Dept. of L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. "This is happening nationally, this attempted fraudulent activity. Scammers use stolen identities to establish phony bank accounts in an attempt to receive these benefits."
Oleksiak says, the scammers used people's stolen identity from past national security breachers. They then appear to file for PUA benefits on the stolen identity's behalf. This is all in an effort to defraud the system of the money.
"We are taking the necessary steps so we can get these payments into the pockets of individuals who have applied for these benefits and deserve these benefits," said Oleksiak. He says, PUA claimants will be receiving their benefits by check until they can add more safeguards into their system.
In the meantime, Pennsylvanians should beware.
"This scam is a good reminder for all Pennsylvanians to keep a close eye and remain vigilant to protect your identity and personal information," said Oleksiak.
And if you receive a check you didn't apply for, you should contact the State Department of Treasury.