Colorado unemployment fraud prompts new two-step verification system

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DENVER (KDVR) — As Colorado’s unemployment rate continues to hover near 6.2%, fraud is still a problem that affects those waiting for assistance.

The state will launch a new two-step verification process in August. They say the new step is an important new tool in the effort to address fraud while facilitating the benefits distribution process.

Many already use two-step authentication to log into apps or an email account.

Benefits fraud can tie up assistance for legitimate claimants because of the time it can take to investigate claims.

Fraudsters can hijack payments

Laid off phone sales representative Renee Hartman told the Problem Solvers that when she checked her unemployment benefits account in March, she learned her payments had been deposited into someone else’s account.

“Someone had changed my bank account information,” Hartman said.

The Problem Solvers contacted the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment about Hartman’s case. They are now working to help her recover her benefits.

The CDLE reports that as of July 1, the system showed that 4,310 claimants were still on hold as a result of suspicion of fraud.

The CDLE will use a new two-factor authentication login process, requiring claimants to use more than one method to verify their identity: both a password and a code sent to a verified phone number, email address or authenticator app.

How to protect yourself from unemployment fraud

The CDLE provided the following information to the Problem Solvers regarding steps claimants should take to protect their accounts and guard against fraud:

  • Never share your MyUI+ login credentials with anyone.
  • Set up multi-factor authentication when it launches in August.
  • Check to make sure contact information and banking information is accurate every time you log into MyUI+.
  • Claimants should also never share login credentials for the email account they have on file in MyUI+.
  • In addition, CDLE warns against clicking on suspicious links in emails and text messages. CDLE never sends text messages to claimants.

For more information, visit the CDLE scam page.

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