HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Scammers are trying to steal government money intended for those who are struggling and take advantage of a system that is already overwhelmed, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.
The latest information from VEC shows there have been almost a million unemployment claims filed in Virginia and over $6 billion given out in benefits.
Officials said their system has been inundated with people in need of help due to the coronavirus.
But now there's another problem: an increase in fraud.
Joyce Fogg, the communications director for the VEC, said there has been a recent spike in working people getting letters in the mail from the VEC.
“A lot of people are getting monetary determination letters with pin numbers that they’ve never applied for, so someone has stolen their information and filed a fraudulent claim,” Fogg said.
She said their fraud team is investigating the claims.
Fogg said that’s not the only form of fraud they are dealing with right now. She said some people are working and collecting benefits, and others who haven’t worked in years are collecting benefits. She said the money will have to be paid back to the VEC.
“Protect your information, and if you get something from the VEC that has your information in it or says that you filed and you did not, please contact us immediately," Fogg said.
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