Unemployment scams target the vulnerable


Attorney General Josh Shapiro is warning Pennsylvanians about a new unemployment scam. Scammers are taking advantage of the historic rise in unemployment by using fake unemployment-filing websites, he said.

Scams target the most vulnerable in society. And right now many who are out of work and worried are the targets. Don’t take the bait, Shapiro says.

Instead of actually providing a way to quickly file a claim, the scammers steal personal information or harvest the data to sell to others.

“Scammers are working overtime to try and make a profit during this emergency. We are staying on high alert to stop them,” Shapiro said. “You can help. Only file for unemployment through the Department of Labor and Industry at​ ​https://www.uc.pa.gov​. If you see a website or email claiming to be a source for filing for unemployment outside of this Department, report it.”

Gov. Tom Wolf said applying for unemployment compensation online at www.uc.pa.gov is the best way to start the process. The department’s website has answers to many common questions and explains how to apply, he said.

Resources Available for Employees, Families Impacted by COVID-19

Scams target those out of work

Shapiro urges Pennsylvanians to stay away from websites purporting to help people file unemployment compensation claims. Check website URLs carefully. Be sure you use only the official government website to file. It will end in pa.gov.

They ask for information not needed for the filing of an unemployment claim. Some of that information about your mortgage or credit company. These websites may use your personal data for other purposes, Shapiro said.

In Pennsylvania, unemployment claims can only be filed with the Department of Labor & Industry at: https://www.uc.pa.gov/. The website contains tools and FAQs to help applicants with questions about the COVID-19 emergency.

There are no other valid websites to do that.

Consumers can sign up for text scam alerts at https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumer-alerts/. The alerts offer tips for consumers to avoid becoming a victim of a scam, warn about new scams or update subscribers on consumer protection issues.

Pennsylvanians can also file a complaint about an active or potential scam by visiting https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/scams.