INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is investigating suspected unemployment assistance fraud.
The department said as part of the investigation, many Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims were put on hold. The investigation started after nationwide increases in identity theft and fraud in unemployment filings.
For the week ending June 20, initial unemployment claims totaled 31,885, a 28% increase from the previous week. The department said the increases are inconsistent with other employment indicators.
The department said increases could be due to suspected fraud. The fraud could range from large international crime rings stealing people’s personal information to file a claim to employees continuing to collect unemployment after returning to work.
“We have been monitoring situations in other states, and now similar attempts of fraud are targeting Indiana,” said Regina Ashley, DWD’s Chief Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Solutions Officer. “DWD is working vigilantly to ensure these attempts to cheat the system are caught and that payments are not falsely distributed.”
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor will release initial claims numbers, including those for Indiana, for the week ending June 27, which the department says could also show signs of potential fraud.
To report an allegation of fraud involving unemployment visit the DWD’s fraud reporting webpage at www.Unemployment.IN.gov and click on “Report Unemployment Fraud.”