Scammers target people who lost jobs due to COVID-19

Beware of scammers acting as phony government agencies. (Pixabay)

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) – The Department of Labor and Regulation raises the alarm about possible unemployment insurance scams amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Scammers aim to steal personal information. Be aware of potential fraud and only use the official website RAclaims.sd.gov to file an unemployment claim and to obtain accurate information.

“Many of the individuals we’re helping are filing for unemployment insurance for the very first time,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “Please be cautious of scammers trying to take advantage of the situation.”

No fee: There is no fee to file for unemployment compensation. DLR will never ask for a debit card or other method of payment in order to process a claim. If you get a phone call from someone identifying themselves as a representative of DLR, do not give any information to the caller or send money.

False websites: Several websites advertise they can assist claimants in filing for unemployment benefits. Some of these sites offer services free of charge and others do charge for services. The sites often ask for confidential/private information such as your Social Security number, address, work history and email address. Use only the official DLR Reemployment Assistance website at RAclaims.sd.gov.

Personal documents: Some solicitors are asking claimants to upload a copy of their driver’s license, birth certificate, etc. DLR will ask for a Social Security number and driver’s license or state-issued ID, but will not require an upload.

Verification A few claimants have received demands to verify their identity within 24 hours to process their claim. DLR will not send requests such as this. After filing an initial claim, the claimant will receive a packet in the mail with a monetary determination of benefits, claimant checklist and handbook.

Online surveys: DLR does not pay claimants to take surveys. If you receive an email requesting you complete on online survey that appears to be from the State, do not complete the survey. This is likely an attempt to get your personal information.

To report incidents of attempted fraud or scams, contact the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at https://consumer.sd.gov.

Read the original version of this article at www.kotatv.com.