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DLIR Warns Public of Unemployment Scams

May 27, 2020, 3:57 PM HST
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Hawai‘i residents could be the victims of fraudulent unemployment claims.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced Wednesday that attempts may be made by criminals to file imposter claims in order to receive unemployment benefits. Multiple states have been victimized by fraudulent claims filed in recent weeks as part of a nationwide scam organized by a cybercrime gang that is believed to have obtained personal information through previous nationwide data breaches.

The US Secret Service issued a national alert about this international crime ring committing fraud against state unemployment programs on May 14, 2020.

“The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations takes its responsibility to prevent fraud in the unemployment insurance program very seriously,” said Scott Murakami, DLIR Director. “We are working with our federal, state and local partners to investigate and prevent fraud while paying benefits to claimants as quickly as possible.”

The department was alerted that potentially fake claims may be filed using previously stolen or fraudulent personal information, however, no personal information from claimants has been stolen from the department, according to the DLIR.

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“Hawai‘i residents who suspect an imposter claim has been filed in their names should contact the Unemployment Insurance Division at 808-586-8947,” said Neal K. Okabayashi, Hawai‘i Bankers Association Executive Director. “It is unfortunate that criminals are capitalizing on the current COVID-19 emergency to file fraudulent unemployment claims using stolen identify information.”

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Employers can assist the department by electronically filing wage data and Electronic Lower Earnings Reports through the unemployment insurance web application at www.uiclaims.hawaii.gov. The web application is secure and free. For more information go online.

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