Unemployment scams amid pandemic continue to grow

California

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Unemployment scams amid the pandemic continue to grow, the latest seen among some California homeowners and its prompted calls for an emergency audit of the State’s Employment Development Department.

Both Republicans and Democrats are calling for an emergency audit of the Employment Development Department amid suspicions of fraud regarding unemployment benefits.

A number of California residents say they’ve been getting unemployment notifications and benefits sent to their homes – benefits they never signed up for.

They say the stacks of mail they’ve been receiving from the edd are addressed to other people.

One man says he received 40 letters, another says he received 100 — All of which were addressed to different people.

These homeowners receiving these letters all have one thing in common, they received the letters within days of putting their homes on the market – and none of the homeowners have open claims with the EDD.

It sounds like the EDD fraud hotline isn’t much help.

“I left numerous voicemails for the none of them were returned. And to see it be abused at this very harrowing time is really, kind of tragic,” homeowner Daniel Frankel said. 

“I’m not going to make the claim that the EDD is an inside job, but I’m getting close. Let me tell you why. We’ve got to find out whether or not the ring is inside or outside,” Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, said. 

Last week, California had processed more than 405,000 pandemic unemployment assistance claims, accounting for more than half of all claims filed in the country – a number that signals the potential for fraud.

This week Governor Newsom announced he’s hired 5 new people to investigate these claims.

Now in some promising employment news, the jobs numbers are in, and things are looking pretty good.

“The wonderful report we have coming out today, the jobs report, indicated another plus million new jobs added,” George Noceti, financial adviser, said.

The number of new unemployment claims has declined especially when compared to the start of the pandemic but all of that could change if we see another spike.

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