Pennsylvania representative targeted in unemployment scam

PITTSBURGH — State Rep. Natalie Mihalek couldn’t believe it when she received a letter from the Department of Labor, telling her she was ineligible for unemployment compensation but might be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for the self -employed.

“I was obviously surprised and frustrated. I share in the frustration with so many who’ve been victim(s) of fraud with our unemployment system.”

Ever since the state launched its new unemployment system in June, Mihalek says her office has been flooded with complaints from constituents also targeted by fraudulent claims.

Mihalek thinks the problem has more to do with how the new system is designed.

Now she’s frustrated, like so many others having to deal with all the fallout.

“Your info is out there, could be compromised. It could lead to something worse. Who knows what else.”

We contacted the labor department to get their reaction to a state representative being targeted.

They responded saying that attempts of fraudsters to steal unemployment benefits is an issue every state is dealing with, and they believe the recent spike in state claims in has to do with the national attention received when they launched the new system.

Unfortunately, victims still have to deal with the results.

There are several steps you need to follow if you are a victim of these scams, including notifying the state, filing a police report, and monitoring your credit.

If you think you’re the victim of unemployment fraud, you can call the PA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469.