HARRISBURG–Attorney General Josh Shapiro today warned Pennsylvanians that scammers are trying to take advantage of the historic rise in unemployment across the commonwealth by using fake unemployment filing websites in order to steal personal information or to harvest the data to sell to others for uses not properly disclosed to the user.
“Scammers are working overtime to try and make a profit during this emergency, and we are staying on high alert to stop them,” said Attorney Gen. Shapiro. “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 to the Office of Attorney General.”
“At this unprecedented time as Pennsylvania works together to stop the spread of this virus and keep all of us safe, we also want everyone to be safe from scammers,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Applying for unemployment compensation online at www.uc.pa.gov is the fastest and easiest way to start the process. This is the first time some people have applied, so the department’s website has answers to many common questions and explains how to apply.”
Attorney Gen. Shapiro urges Pennsylvanians to stay away from websites purporting to help people file unemployment compensation claims. Information contained on these websites may be outdated, inaccurate and/or incomplete. Moreover, these websites solicit information not needed for the filing of an unemployment claim such as information about your mortgage or credit company. These websites may use your personal data for other purposes, including, but not be limited to, selling, licensing or sharing your information with third-parties for various marketing purposes, such as telemarketing, e-mail marketing, text messaging, and direct mail.
In Pennsylvania, unemployment claims can only be filed with the Department of Labor & Industry at: https://www.uc.pa.gov/. There are many tools and FAQs on the website to assist applicants with questions about the COVID-19 emergency. No other website that requests personal information, provides instruction on how to file, and/or provides an opportunity to “file an unemployment claim” is necessary or part of filing an unemployment claim. Consumers can sign up for text scam alerts at https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumer-alerts/, which 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.