Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry anti-fraud division has discovered recent attempts in which scammers are utilizing personal information to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. 

Per the PA L&I, their systems or data have not been compromised. The personal information was obtained from sources outside L&I.

The fraudulent applications used personal information to apply for PA Unemployment benefits and requested the money be deposited to their bank account.  This fraudulent activity is happening across several states including Massachusetts, Illinois and several others.

As a result of the fraudulent activity, PA L&I announced that PUA Claimants will be receiving their PUA benefit payments via paper checks for the foreseeable future as a precaution.

Additionally, L&I has mailed out a Notice of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Filed to all PUA claimants in the system upon the discovery of the scam.

The PA L&I has provided the below guidance on returning checks received if you did not apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

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.

Please reach out to with questions.

We are in this together,

Brinker Simpson & Company, LLC

Disclaimer: This alert is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Information contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used as tax advice & cannot be used by the recipient to avoid penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. We strongly advise you to seek professional assistance with respect to your specific issue(s).

Source: PA L&I, ABC News