As part of an ongoing investigation of unusual account changes within Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation system, the Department of Labor & Industry is taking a precautionary step of offering free credit-monitoring services to all UC claimants even though there has been no confirmed data breach. Interested UC claimants will have the opportunity to register for these free credit-monitoring services in the near future and additional information about how to register is forthcoming.
Recently, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania publicly confirmed the existence of an FBI and Homeland Security investigation into what appears to be a highly sophisticated, coordinated effort to infiltrate various government systems. While L&I and the Office of Administration previously were requested to keep the matter confidential, given this recent public disclosure, the departments can now confirm that they have been coordinating with relevant federal partners on the investigation.
“The commonwealth continues to work with federal law enforcement and other agencies to investigate the sophisticated attacks on our system,” said Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “While an investigation into the cause of disruptions within accounts is ongoing, we want to protect Pennsylvanians from further harm by proactively providing free credit monitoring. We remain committed to working with law enforcement to prevent criminals from stealing public money and to catch those behind it.”
L&I is encouraging any UC claimant who believes their account has experienced an unusual change to contact the department and follow the steps outlined below.
– Report suspected unemployment fraud by visiting the UC Benefits Website and clicking “Report Fraud” at the bottom of the page to complete and submit the Identity Theft Form. Do not log in.
– Employers should indicate the claim is fraudulent in their response to the Notice of Claim Filed.
– To report identity theft fraud related to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, click here.
To report fraud by phone, call the PA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469.
L&I recommends that individuals who suspect they are the victims of identity theft to file a police report with local law enforcement and provide a copy of the police report to the Office of Unemployment Compensation.
The U.S. Department of Labor recommends that victims of identity theft should also report their information to the National Center for Disaster Fraud. Victims should also consider starting a recovery plan with the Federal Trade Commission.