Trumbull police see bump in unemployment benefits fraud

Exterior, Trumbull Police Headquarters, in Trumbull, Conn. Jan. 14, 2016.

Exterior, Trumbull Police Headquarters, in Trumbull, Conn. Jan. 14, 2016.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — Police have seen an uptick in attempted unemployment benefit fraud lately, and are warning residents to be vigilant about safeguarding their information, according to Lt. Brian Weir.

Weir said in the past month the department has seen a rise in reports of suspicious activity surrounding unemployment. He said residents have come to police, saying their employers have told them that the employers are receiving unemployment information about that specific employee.

“The employee is obviously still working, so there is some type of unauthorized activities going on, but the source has not been determined and there has been no reported financial loss,” Weir said.

In these cases, he said, people can file a police report, but police do not have much information to follow up on.

According to a post on the Trumbull Police Department Facebook page, unemployment benefits fraud often happens because the perpetrator has obtained the victim’s personal information in some way.

“Understand that your personal information is available to criminals,” the post reads. “They can purchase it on the dark web, obtain it through retail and commercial breaches, and get you to reveal it through text, phone, social media, and email phishing.”

Police asked people be aware of any suspicious requests for information.

“If (the Connecticut Department of Labor) requests information from you or your employer, an impostor claim may have been filed with us indicating you may be a victim of identity theft,” the post read.

Police also advise contacting the Connecticut Department of Labor immediately if they receive a monetary determination letter, a 1099 tax form or unexpected payment, or any other suspicious mail or email.

The Department of Labor has more information on its web site, portal.ct.gov/dol.

“If there are any issues related to your employment (false unemployment claims, someone asking for personal work information etc.) make sure to report it to the police,” the post reads.