unemployment

NJ Labor Dept. Shuts Down Facebook Commenting Because of Fraudsters

The state department's social media page was used by some commenters to try and defraud other Facebook users involving unemployment claims, state officials said.

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New Jersey's state government department in charge of unemployment and other workforce-related policies shut down commenting on its Facebook page Wednesday because of fraudulent activity.

The state Department of Labor had to close comments on its official Facebook page because some commenters were impersonating state workers in order to try gaining access to people's personal information, the state said in a tweet posted Wednesday morning.

As the tweet says, the attempts by some commenters to impersonate state labor workers in order to get other commenters to supply them with private and personal information involved "repeated instances."

The fraudsters were apparently targeting unemployment claimants through the Facebook posts on the Labor Department's page.

The tweet warned unemployment claimants to "be vigilant" in protecting themselves against unemployment insurance fraud.

"Our IU specialists will NEVER reach out to claimants via Facebook," the tweet added.

Unemployment fraud has been documented throughout the last year's spike in claims due to heavy job losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, NBC10 Responds reported the story of a Philadelphia man who received dozens of unemployment payments he never applied for, all possibly linked to a larger fraud scheme that didn't involve the city resident.

He reported the problem to federal and Pennsylvania authorities, who were investigating.

But to add insult to injury, the victim then was told he owed taxes on the unemployment claims.

Last year, NBC10 Responds first reported on scams involving fraudsters who stole people's identity's and filed false unemployment claims in their names.

Here are some links for those who want to file an unemployment claim or speak with a claims specialist, by state:

Here are community legal aid programs:

Pennsylvania:

New Jersey:

Delaware:

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