Begin Main Content Area

Unemployment Compensation Fraud​

Unemployment Compensation Fraud is a very serious matter. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is committed to preventing and identifying fraud or fraudulent scams. We encourage Pennsylvanians to remain vigilant and to report fraud or any potential concerns of fraud to L&I. 
​L&I’s anti-fraud division has discovered recent attempts in which scammers are utilizing personal information to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. No L&I systems or data have been compromised. The personal information was obtained from sources outside L&I.
Scammers are using this information to file for PUA benefits and route the payments into their own bank accounts. 

L&I mailed the Notice of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claim Filed to all claimants in the PUA system via U.S. mail on Tuesday, May 26 to provide further guidance if they did not submit a PUA application.

Returning Checks for Benefits for Which You Did Not Apply:

Anyone who receives a paper check in the mail and did not file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in Pennsylvania should not cash the checks. Cashing the checks knowing that you have not applied for PUA or any other UC program may be deemed fraud and repayment will be required. 

The checks should be returned to:

Department of Treasury Comptroller’s Office
Attn: Mark Accorsi
Room 113, Finance Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Anyone who receives a PUA direct deposit and did not file for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania should not use the funds. Using the funds knowing that you have not applied for PUA or any other UC program may be deemed fraud and repayment will be required. 

The funds should be returned to:

Department of Labor and Industry
651 Boas  St, Room 500
Harrisburg, PA 17121

Payments must be made by personal check, cashier's check, certified check, or money order to the “PA UC Fund”.  Please include a brief signed statement with the reason you are sending in the payment and include your printed name, address, last four of your social security number, phone number and email address.  

What To Do If You Receive A UC-issued Debit Card for Which You Did Not Apply:

Constituents who have received a US Bank ReliaCard in error should not activate the card.  To aid Treasury’s internal investigation operations and prevent a fraudulent expenditure of Commonwealth funds, any person who erroneously receives a US Bank ReliaCard should follow one of the procedures below:
  • Email a picture of the US Bank ReliaCard, that includes the 16-digit number on the front of the debit card, the expiration date, and the individual’s name, along with their phone number,  to the PA Treasury Office of Investigations at  We must be able to read the 16-digit number on the front of the card, the expiration date, and the name on the card.  The card can then be destroyed.

  • Return the US Bank ReliaCard by mail to the address below:

Department of Treasury Comptroller’s Office 
Attn: Mark Accorsi 
Room 113, Finance Building 
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Recognize and Avoid COVID-19 UC Scams 
The scammers behind the PUA fraud appear to be using Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to apply for and receive PUA benefits. In many situations, the victims are unaware that their personal information has been compromised.
Following are some warning signs of a possible COVID-19 scam:
  • For workers – receiving any type of correspondence that you filed an unemployment claim when you did not file a claim for benefits.
  • For employers – if you notice a claim has been filed for one or more of your employees who are still working.
In general, take these steps to protect yourself against unemployment scams:
  • Never give out your personal information over email or text message.
  • Don’t wire money, and always ignore the following requests:
      • Communications related to your UC benefits from someone asking for money;
      • Someone who says they can help you file for your benefits for a fee; and
      • Anyone claiming to work for L&I who says they need a fee to complete your application.
  • Don’t open or respond to unsolicited emails or text messages.
  • Never give out your personal information on websites or social media channels – especially those that claim they can help you apply for UC benefits. Third parties can’t apply for your benefits.
  • Don’t trust or rely on UC info from unofficial websites – always visit for Pennsylvania unemployment program information.
  • L&I may need to call you. If you file a claim, save the following unemployment phone numbers to your phone so you know you’re receiving a legitimate call from L&I:
      • 888-313-7284 – regular UC
      • 855-284-8545 – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) phone number
We will ask you for some personal identification information including the last four digits of your Social Security number if we call you, but we will not ask for your full SSN unless you call us.