PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – A couple received 19 envelopes with U.S. Bank Reliacards over the weekend at their home, each with different names listed under their address. They did not apply for unemployment leading the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to suspect this is another example of fraud, which is on the rise during the pandemic.
“We went to our mailbox, brought out multiple envelopes, they all seem to be from the same place,” said Cari Smith. “Obviously, they’re different people.”
Smith and her husband were caught off guard by the discovery on Saturday at their home. All 19 debit cards arrived in one day, none before or since then. Neither of them have any reason to be in the database for unemployment claims so they’re concerned why their address showed up as a location for delivery.
“None of the names were addressed to us but it was our property address,” she told CBS4 on Tuesday. “We’re not looking for any unemployment benefits at this point so yes, we’ve just been waiting to see what the next step is.”
The unprecedented number of claims has inspired these cases of fraud. It is a national issue involving the Secret Service, FBI, and local law enforcement agencies, according to CDLE.
If someone receives a Reliacard like the Smith family, their personal identifying information may be compromised from a previous large data breach, an email from the agency to CBS4 explained. CDLE knew of another case in Colorado where a couple also received 19 envelopes at their home address.
“Well I’m not sure how our address got into the database,” Smith said. “We just hope that we can get these returned so the individuals who are looking for this can get their money.”
Smith says she and her husband contacted the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and filed their case with the Attorney General’s office. They also contacted CBS4 after seeing a story about Reliacards on this website. CBS4 passed on their information to CDLE so they can continue to investigate this case.
“Keep your eyes out people, protect everyone,” Smith said. “We’re going through enough right now, we just need to have each other’s back.”
CDLE has tips to protect yourself from fraud on their website.