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Unemployment fraud complaints are on the rise in Colorado. Here's what do if you fall victim

There are some immediate steps that you can take to address it.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are continuing to see an uptick in fraudulent unemployment claims filed in recent weeks.  

More than 40,000 regular initial unemployment (UI) claims were filed for the week ending Jan. 2, and CDLE said that fraudulent claims were likely a major contributor to the high total.

If you received a Reliacard debit card or other paperwork from CDLE but have not filed an unemployment claim, CBI said your personal information may have been used to file a fraudulent claim.

CBI advises Coloradans to report the fraudulent claims on CDLE's website by following these steps: 

  1. Click on "Report Fraud" and then "Submit a Fraud Report." Enter your email address. 
  2. For type of Fraud, click on: "My identity was used to file an unemployment claim" or "I have received a Reliacard with someone else's name".
  3. If you received a U.S. Bank Reliacard for Colorado unemployment benefits but did not file a claim, fill out the U.S Bank form at this link and contact U.S. Bank immediately at 1-855-279-1678. Tell them that a fraudulent unemployment claim was filed using your information, and ask them to deactivate the card.
  4. If you discover any incorrect or fraudulent information on your credit report, you should dispute it with the credit bureau directly.  

CBI said this process for reporting the fraudulent claims will alert the proper investigators for the State of Colorado. 

Late last week, a Twitter account was suspended for imitating CDLE and trying to gain sensitive information from users.

Roxann Harris, human resources director for Denver-based Hercules Industries, told 9NEWS more than 20 active employees have had fake unemployment claims open over the last few weeks. 

"Each employee is quite concerned and anxious about what is happening," she said in an interview Friday. "We then went in [and] answered all the fraud claims and said, 'This is a fraudulent claim, the employee has not filed unemployment, this employee is still active, it's totally fraudulent.'"

Harris said despite that effort and other attempts to get ahold of CDLE to report the claims, last week she and her employees received notice that many of the claims were approved.

"It's just frustrating," she added. "It appears that there was no knowledge at all of how we responded to all of these claims being fraud." 

In an email to 9NEWS, CDLE stated they do request a response from an employer to complete processing a claim. However, given the overall volume of issues to resolve, some decisions were automatically processed, which could result in the receipt of a decision on a claim that may actually be flagged as a fake claim. 

"...We understand this causes confusion at the current moment," a spokesperson stated in an email. "But this is a result of limitations within our old regular state system."

The department said the new unemployment benefits system that launched on Sunday will help avoid confusion for victims. 

The new system, called MyUI+, replaces two previous systems: the MyUI Claimant and the PUA Online system. 

CDLE said in the first 12 hours of the new system's launch, about 20% of those who requested a payment were flagged by a fraud identifier. 

CDLE said a detailed analysis of the fraud reports will be conducted in the coming weeks, with the findings presented in a future unemployment update.

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