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Department of Labor warns of unemployment benefit scams

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Labor is warning unemployment compensation recipients to beware of scammers who may be seeking to fraudulently obtain unemployment benefits. These individuals or groups may represent themselves as legitimate entities and will promise that they can obtain unemployment compensation benefits on a claimant’s behalf.  They may try to charge a fee for this service.

Please know that the ONLY legitimate way to file for unemployment compensation benefits in Alabama is through the Alabama Department of Labor: either online at Labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866-234-5382. There is NEVER a charge to file for unemployment compensation.

“We are aware of at least one Facebook page that cloned the official ADOL Facebook page and then proceeded to contact those who had interacted with the legitimate page with bogus offers of prizes and requests to allow them to file for benefits on the claimant’s behalf,” said ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.  “Not only would ADOL never participate in a contest to give away money, but we would never charge for our services. These entities or individuals are attempting to procure claimants’ personal information for purposes that are 99% likely to be criminal in nature.”

The page referenced above was promptly removed by Facebook after being reported by the agency, and the Attorney General’s Office is working with ADOL to investigate. ADOL’s Facebook account is marked with the blue check, meaning it is a verified account.

“There have been multiple reports of scams involving unemployment compensation nationwide,” continued Washington.  “I want to urge Alabamians to be on their guard and to make sure that they are giving their information to legitimate entities.”

Suspected fraud activities should be reported to TipHotline@labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-855-234-2856.  It can also be reported to the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor at https://www.oig.dol.gov/hotline.htm or 202-693-6999 or 1-800-347-3756.

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