LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Dozens of unemployment cards are showing up at the wrong address in Longmont. When the first white envelope showed up with Sharlene Kesler’s mail, she didn’t think much of it, other than to return it to sender, but then more showed up.
“It’s my address but it’s not my name. I don’t know any of these people,” Kesler told CBS4.
She recalls it started about four weeks ago.
“Then the next day I got two, then almost every day I’d get a couple,” she said.
Currently, it’s up to three or five a day. Just recently, Kesler inspected one of the envelopes to see if it was some kind of scam.
“I opened one and realized it was an unemployment card,” she said.
Kesler has called a few numbers to report the issue. The bank referred her back to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. She went through automated prompts for about half an hour.
“And then they came on the line and said, thank you for calling. We’re sorry we have not appointments available,” she said.
It seems to Kesler this could be a computer error, and it may be the reason why some aren’t getting their payments. However, the labor department said these people could be victims of identity theft.
“How do you feed your family, how do you pay your rent or your mortgage?” Kesler wondered.
Kesler is following steps to stop the letters from coming but he has yet to get a call back, or a person on the line.
“My heart goes out to all these people, this is just one more thing that they have to suffer with and it’s just not right.”
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment told CBS4 it is aware of this problem. It advises anyone who gets the cards to report them, and check their credit for unusual activity.
It also said, “If received unemployment paperwork but did not file a claim, or otherwise believe you are a victim of identity theft related to unemployment benefits, please click here to submit a fraud report. Additionally, there are several recommended steps to follow:
- If you received a U.S. Bank Reliacard for Colorado unemployment benefits but did not file a claim, contact U.S. Bank immediately at 1-855-279-1678. Tell them that a fraudulent unemployment claim was filed using your information, and ask them to deactivate the card.
- Contact the three consumer credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number (SSN). It may be an automated system, so you may not talk to a live person and you will have to enter your SSN and date of birth.
Credit Bureau Contact Info:
- It is important to regularly review your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus. Each will look different and may contain different information. If you discover any incorrect or fraudulent information on your credit report, you should dispute it with the credit bureau directly. Normally, you can receive one free copy of your credit report each year from each credit bureau. Due to increased fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic, each of the three credit bureaus is offering free weekly credit reports via annualcreditreport.com.
- It is also recommended that you file a police report. You can file a “counter-report” with your local police department. As a victim, you have the right to file this report. It doesn’t mean the police will investigate it, but there will at least be a record of it on file and you can get a copy of the report for your records.
- You can also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov. The FTC’s website includes valuable resources about how to recover from identity theft and protect your identity.
- Lastly, create a file where you can keep any records relating to this identity theft in one central place, in case you are notified of other fraud or breaches of your personal information.”