Unemployment scammers try to con Arvada deputy police chief

Problem Solvers

ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — When you’ve been in law enforcement for 28 years like Arvada’s Deputy Police Chief A.J. DeAndrea, you try to keep your personal information private.

“No matter what we do there’s ways for people to access your information,” said DeAndrea after receiving a debit card he never applied for at his office Tuesday morning.

“The chief was walking by and I said, ‘Hey did you forget to tell me that you fired me?’ So we kind of had a chuckle there,” said DeAndrea.

The Reliacard from U.S. Bank is intended for those who filed for unemployment. In theory, the unemployed can access their funds when they activate the card.

But Arvada Police Detective David Snelling told FOX31 some scammers may call people who received the debit cards pretending to be from the Colorado Department of Labor or U.S. Bank.

“They have some of your information, you know they have the deputy chief’s address, it’s easy to find his phone number. They can call him and say listen you know we need that card and pin number so we can cancel that, can you confirm it?” said Snelling.

Law enforcement sources told FOX31 another method may be for the scammer to go online and tell the state he or she wants the funds put into a bank account instead of a debit card that only the criminal has access to after the debit card has been mailed out.

“People are so desperate right now having been with the Covid lockdowns … and then to have predators out there that are just willing to prey and really they are trying to defraud the government,” said DeAndrea.

DeAndrea was one of five Arvada employees who improperly received the Reliacard on Tuesday.  Arvada Police said they’ve been taking a dozen reports on unemployment fraud every day for the past few weeks.

If you receive a debit card that’s not intended for you, don’t activate it.

Instead report it as fraud by following the steps at this website – https://cdle.colorado.gov/fraud-prevention.

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