GDOL has found cases of fraudulent PUA claims and identity theft

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The Guam Department of Labor has found cases of fraudulent claims made to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program the agency is administering on island.

The FBI has already announced that it is investigating a number of cases of fraud in several states where bogus unemployment applications have been submitted online.

In a news release today GDOL Director David Dell’Isola said “we have found cases of identity theft and fraudulent claims on Guam. It’s happening here too and it’s a valid concern.”

Guam DOL is working closely with the  administration “to ensure the integrity of this program,” said Dell’Isola who called it “a top priority.”

Dell’Isola said Guam DOL is keeping up to date with the latest PUA updates and fraud prevention measures by staying in constant contact with the U.S. Department of Labor’s unemployment office, the inspector general’s office and the DOL regional office.

“We are focusing on getting millions of pandemic relief into the hands of our people while also protecting them from criminal activity,” said Dell’Isola.

The FBI advises the public to be on the lookout for the following suspicious activities:

● Receiving communications regarding unemployment insurance forms when you have not applied for unemployment benefits
● Unauthorized transactions on your bank or credit card statements related to unemployment benefits
● Any fees involved in filing or qualifying for unemployment insurance
● Unsolicited inquiries related to unemployment benefits
● Fictitious websites and social media pages mimicking those of government agencies

Tips on how to protect yourself:

● Be wary of telephone calls and text messages, letters, websites, or emails that require you to provide your personal information or other sensitive information, especially birth dates and Social Security numbers.

● Be cautious with attachments and embedded links within email, especially from an unknown email sender.

● Make yourself aware of methods fraudsters are using to obtain PII and how to combat them.

● Follow these security tips issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, including:

  • Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
  • Protecting Against Malicious Code
  • Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft
  • Monitor your bank accounts on a regular basis and request your credit report at least once a year to look for any fraudulent activity.
  • If you believe you are a victim, review your credit report more frequently.
  • Immediately report unauthorized transactions to your financial institution or credit card provider.
  • If you suspect you are a victim, immediately contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records.

Additionally, notify the Internal Revenue Service by filing an Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS Form 14039) through irs.gov or identitytheft.gov.

For more information, please see the entire FBI release at:
https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-sees-spike-in-fraudulent-unemployment-insurance-claims-file
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