By Kati Weis

DENVER (CBS4) – There are still some people who aren’t able to enjoy the holidays as much this year, because their unemployment claims are being held up by fraudulent activity. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment tells CBS4 there are 1,050 claimants that have verified their identity through, but are not being paid, because their account has been flagged for fraud.

(credit: CBS)

The CDLE says those claims could be completely fraudulent claims, created by criminals, or they could legitimate claims from innocent Coloradans who have been victims of fraud.

The CDLE says it must investigate each one of those claims manually, and there’s no timeline on when all of the investigations will be complete. The CDLE says it’s still hurting from staff losses this year, which could add more time to the investigation process.

Heather Hall, 37, of Westminster, is one of those legitimate claimants who fell victim to fraud.

(credit: CBS)

She stopped receiving payments in November 2020. For months, she’s been trying to figure out what’s wrong with her claim, but says the CDLE’s customer service wasn’t very helpful.

“I kept getting passed around and each time it was another appointment,” she said. “One of the times it was more than two weeks before it could get anybody on the phone.”

She had been looking for work in the meantime, but unexpected health problems this year made that difficult. She says doctors are still trying to diagnose her.

“I’ve done everything I can, and we’ve sold things that belong to us just to cover expenses not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring,” she said. “We’re hardworking people. Before the pandemic, we were working two jobs a piece for the American dream, trying to start our own business… losing both of our jobs has kind of put that to a halt.”

Once CBS4 inquired about Hall’s case, the CDLE discovered someone had filed for a fraudulent claim in her name in December 2020, and then in June 2021, fraudsters attached a “nasty bank account” to her claim. Those issues flagged her claim and prevented money from going out.

Hall has now started receiving payments this week.

If you are in a similar boat like Hall was, the CDLE asks for patience.

The CDLE says it’s working to unravel these issues as quickly as possible, and is working to get legitimate claimants back in control of their claims and get them the back pay they are owed.

The department also advises to be cautious of suspicious texts or calls from someone claiming to be with the CDLE, as these are methods fraudsters are using to trick claimants into giving up personal information that they can use to access those legitimate accounts.


Kati Weis