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Colorado Dept. of Labor predicts unemployment fraud will continue despite new identification system

Unemployment Fraud Pin Number letter
Posted at 5:56 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 07:56:58-05

DENVER — On Thursday, the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment (CDLE) provided an update on the status of unemployment insurance claims and forthcoming changes to the agency's online system.

Officials with the agency shared that Colorado has paid out about $10 million in fraudulent benefits and stopped about $7 billion in fraudulent payments from being distributed.

Within one to two weeks, CDLE will incorporate a new identification system to combat fraud, but the agency predicts more fraud attempts will continue.

"We know we're going to identity new fraud, and we're going to continue to hold those if we don't feel it's a real person behind that claim," a spokesperson said.

Kevin Spillane, a man in Arapahoe County who received a letter in the mail late last week, said he never filled for unemployment, but was concerned when he saw the CDLE logo printed on the letterhead.

"I saw this piece of mail and I'm like, 'This is weird,'" he said.

The letter instructed Spillane to use a four-digit pin to access unemployment benefits.

Spillane said he thought the letter might have been real because of the way it looked.

"First I called up my boss to say, 'Hey am I still working? You got something to tell me?'" he said.

He said his boss responded, "You're still with us, don't worry."

CDLE continues to remind Coloradans that if someone receives a similar letter or a ReliaCard without applying for unemployment benefits themselves, personal information was likely stolen by a criminal looking to fraudulently claim benefits.