DENVER (KDVR) — Fraudulent unemployment benefit claims are still clogging the state’s payment system.
Even though many employees have returned to their jobs at businesses that are reopening, others still need assistance. But fraudsters are slowing the process.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment saw more than a million fraudulent claims during the first three months of 2021.
Troy Pierce, a father of two, tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers his account was locked on March 7 and he hasn’t been able to get answers as to how to continue the application process.
“Inside it makes you feel like you’re failing as a father and as a man and as a husband,” he said.
Pierce depended on two jobs to support his family. He lost both of them due to pandemic layoffs.
“You don’t know what to tell your landlord, you don’t know what to tell your kids they want things they need things, to trying to explain that to them (is) impossible,” he said.
CDLE tells the Problem Solvers the staff is still dealing with a steady stream of suspicious activity, which bogs down the system because each case must be carefully investigated.
A CDLE spokesperson issued a statement to FOX31:
“We understand how frustrating this experience can be. However, we are still seeing a steady and consistent level of suspicious activity and must be aggressive with our fraud detection and prevention tactics. We are doing everything we can to ensure legitimate claimants are able to access benefits during this difficult time of financial hardship, while also upholding our fiduciary responsibility to protect the integrity of Colorado’s unemployment program.”
The CDLE said it is important to recognize red flags for fraud, which include receiving benefits paperwork or a Reliacard you didn’t apply for.
Claimants can find a how-to video and several tips to complete the ID.me verification process on the ID.me page of the UIDailyDashboard.
The Problem Solvers asked the CDLE to look into Pierce’s claim. After an investigation, the claim was cleared. Pierce can now log in and begin requesting payments, but that must be done each week in order to receive benefits.
“I can catch up with my bills and that’s a relief,” Pierce said.