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A Lookout for Unemployment Fraud

With over $30.5 billion given out in unemployment benefits, state officials said unemployment fraud is on the rise and they’re implementing new procedures to protect eligible claimants.

Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry Jerry Oleksiak says they’ve been seeing an increase in unemployment fraud.

“Over the past several weeks we announced new attempts by fraudsters to steal information or unemployment benefits from claimants,” he said.

Oleksiak said they noticed an increase in PIN reset and change of address requests.

“We strongly suspect that this is a new scheme by fraudsters to redirect to reset pins to mailing addresses where they can gain access,” he said.

If successful, he said this scheme blocks legitimate claimants out of their accounts

“L&I is now only sending pin change requests to the original address from which the claimant filed their claim,” said Oleksiak.

If a claimant needs to change their pin and address, they’re asked to contact the service center at 888-313-7284 to provide additional identity verification.

Oleksiak urges all claimants to be on high alert.

“Agents of L&I will not ask for username and password; you should never give that to anyone. We’ll also never ask for a full social security number, we work with the last four digits,” he said.

Oleksiak said they will continue to work with state agencies to prevent unemployment fraud.

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