Unemployment website

The state of Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims since April 2 that were likely filed by criminals halted for proof of identity verification.

“Because of the additional fraud protections we developed last year at the onset of these coordinated attacks on state unemployment agencies, these fraudulent claims have been stopped and no payments have been sent,” said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “We continue to be vigilant in protecting the integrity of the system and the benefits for those who rightfully deserve them.”

Imposter claims are filed by using fraudulent personal information or previously stolen information. No personal data has been stolen from the UIA involving claimants, the UIA said.

There has been an increase in criminal activity with the expanded benefits available under the federal PUA program. In this activity, criminals are acting as independent contractors to illegally obtain benefits or as workers who are self-employed.

Residents will be sent a null and void determination letter after the identify theft investigation has concluded.

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