Pennsylvanians urged to report unemployment benefits fraud

WILKES-BARRE — Division of Labor & Trade (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak this week reminded Pennsylvanians of the warning indicators related to the widespread identification theft fraud ring focusing on COVID-19 unemployment compensation (UC) advantages packages throughout the nation.

The federal Pandemic Unemployment Help (PUA) program is the first goal of this refined rip-off and victims are urged to report situations of fraud to L&I and native police.

“Pennsylvania takes unemployment advantages fraud very critically and first warned the general public about this nationwide rip-off in Might,” Oleksiak stated. “These fraudsters are utilizing private data beforehand stolen from sources outdoors of commonwealth companies to file for PUA advantages. Many Pennsylvanians usually are not even conscious their identities had been stolen up to now till they obtain correspondence or a debit card from our UC workplace. I urge everybody to stay vigilant, acknowledge the rip-off warning indicators, and know what to do if you happen to change into a sufferer.”

L&I continues to work intently with many state and federal companions, together with banking and regulation enforcement officers. That collaboration recognized greater than 4,000 fraudulent claims in Pennsylvania for PUA advantages and prevented greater than $44 million from reaching criminals.

Rip-off warning indicators

Pennsylvanians ought to concentrate on the next doubtlessly fraudulent actions associated to unemployment compensation advantages:

• You haven’t utilized for unemployment advantages however obtain a examine or direct deposit from the Pennsylvania Treasury Division (Treasury) or a ReliaCard debit card issued by US Financial institution.

• You obtain correspondence from L&I or Treasury about receiving unemployment help for which you didn’t apply.

• Somebody involves your own home that you just have no idea and tells you that their unemployment help examine or debit card was mailed to you by mistake.

• Somebody asks you to make use of your checking account to deposit their unemployment help.

• Somebody, in individual or electronically, tells you that you’re entitled to unemployment help and requests your private figuring out data.

• Somebody gives that will help you file for unemployment advantages for a charge.

• Somebody claims to be from L&I or one other authorities company or workplace and asks for a charge or private data to finish your utility for PUA or different advantages.

Any employer that receives discover {that a} declare has been filed for a number of of your staff who continued working and weren’t laid off or in any other case unemployed.

If any of those suspicious actions occur to you, don’t help or confront the fraudster. Report fraudulent exercise relating to Pennsylvania’s unemployment advantages:

• PA Fraud Hotline: 1-800-692-7469

Rep. Meuser introduces invoice

to cease mail-in voter fraud

U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Dallas, this week launched the Cease Mail-In Voter Fraud Act — laws geared toward defending the integrity of elections in response to the adoption of latest types of voting throughout the coronavirus disaster and identified abuses of mail-in voting strategies:

“The integrity of elections needs to be of the utmost significance to each American,” Meuser stated. “Stunning examples of mail-in voter fraud, coupled with the adoption of latest types of voting in current months, make it crucial for Congress to ship a message of zero-tolerance for individuals who attempt to tamper with votes.”

Meuser added, “Submitting a fraudulent vote is, actually, stealing a vote. Moreover, a fraudulent vote cancels out a professional vote forged by a law-abiding citizen, successfully suppressing that professional vote. The Cease Mail-In Voter Fraud Act sends a transparent warning to anybody considering of tampering with mail-in ballots that they are going to be topic to important penalties, probably together with jail time.”

In regards to the Cease Mail-In Voter Fraud Act

• Will increase penalties for mail fraud, utilizing fictitious names or addresses on a poll, or the transmission of fraudulent ballots.

These heightened penalties are focused at those that “execute a scheme or artifice involving a number of ballots.”

• Directs the Legal professional Basic to determine a reporting system on mail-in voter fraud.

• Establishes a toll-free hotline and a confidential on-line portal.

• Requires reporting on people recused from jury service on grounds of non-citizenship.

If a person is chosen for jury obligation after which discovered to be a non-citizen, the courtroom should notify the State’s chief election official and the Legal professional Basic.

Sen. Toomey, others:

‘Please put on a masks’

U.S. Senators Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., this week teamed up once more to encourage People to put on a masks once they enterprise out of their houses.

In late March, Senators Toomey and Bennet grew to become the primary two members of Congress to publicly help masks carrying to assist cease the unfold of COVID-19.

Their efforts included encouraging the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) and the White Home Coronavirus Process Pressure to replace security pointers to encourage using masks. These efforts paid off as each the CDC and the Process Pressure endorsed masks carrying shortly thereafter.

Consistent with their help for individuals carrying masks once they enterprise out to public locations, Senators Toomey and Bennet are introducing a bipartisan decision that highlights the rising proof that masks carrying indoors, when social distancing is just not an possibility, can assist fight the unfold of COVID-19.

“Sporting a masks shouldn’t be controversial. Research after research affirms that carrying a masks reduces the unfold of coronavirus,” Toomey stated. “As our economic system continues to reopen and till a vaccine is accessible, carrying a face masks whenever you enterprise out is probably the most sensible and value efficient method through which we, as People, can do our half to guard each other. Please, for the advantage of your neighbors, pals, and people who stay in your neighborhood, put on a masks.”

Wolf Administration urges

response to 2020 Census

Division of Neighborhood and Financial Growth (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin this week reminded all Pennsylvanians to be a superb neighbor and reply to the 2020 Census as quickly as potential.

“Each Pennsylvanian’s response to the 2020 Census issues because it determines funding, congressional illustration, and coverage for our state,” Davin stated. “The administration is relying on residents throughout the commonwealth to do their half and reply to the Census, as it would influence us all for the subsequent decade.”

In Pennsylvania, 65.Four p.c of residents have already responded to the Census, 3.1 p.c larger than the nationwide common.

Adams, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and York all have a response fee of over 70 p.c; whereas Cameron, Forest, Monroe, Philadelphia, Pike, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wayne counties are reporting a response fee between 20 and 65 p.c.

Pennsylvania’s objective is to make sure that all residents reply to the Census, as a low response fee will influence federal funding and illustration. Census knowledge are used to determine how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent yearly. Pennsylvania receives $26.eight billion yearly via its 16 largest federally-funded packages, or about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian every year.

This yr marks the 22nd event of the US Census, and commonwealth residents started receiving invites to answer the 2020 Census in the beginning of March. Pennsylvanians can reply on-line, by cellphone, or by mail, and this yr marks the primary time in historical past that responses could be stuffed out on-line. Pennsylvanians who haven’t responded to the 2020 Census ought to count on a Census enumerator within the coming days to help with filling out the shape. Census staff will carry an official identification card and quantity for people to name and ensure their identification, if needed. They will even comply with federal and state authorities COVID-19 pointers.

In Might, DCED introduced an extension to answer the 2020 Census from July 31, 2020, to October 31, 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Census questionnaire is confidential and easy, with questions that embody your identify, deal with, intercourse, race, ethnicity, age, and whether or not you personal or hire your own home. The Census Bureau won’t ever ask about your citizenship standing or for delicate data like your social safety quantity, financial institution accounts, or funds/donations. The Census Bureau won’t ever attain out to you on behalf of a political occasion. Your responses to the Census are protected by regulation and can’t be shared with, or utilized by, every other authorities companies. Solutions can’t be used for regulation enforcement functions or to find out eligibility for presidency advantages or immigration enforcement.

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