Beware of crooks trying to get unemployment checks

Unemployment fraud concerns

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As people continue having a tough time getting through to the Alabama Unemployment office about their checks, It’s even harder on those who are trying to report a case of suspected fraud.

Brandon Harbin is the Chief Financial Officer of Southern Heat Exchanger in Tuscaloosa. The company is doing all it can to keep their workers on the job and off unemployment. Then a couple of weeks ago he got a big surprise. Someone in payroll at the company came to him to and told him the Alabama Labor Department was inquiring about his request for unemployment benefits.

He thought she was kidding, but no. Harbin tried to contact the Labor Department to report this suspected case of fraud but he could not get through to talk to anyone. Someone stole his identity to get up to a $875 check. With some many people out of work and legitimately needing help, this made Harbin mad.

“I know there are people out there need it right now, who are out of work. I would love for them to have an opportunity, unfortunately the system is getting clogged up with jokers out there trying to do things like this,” Hardin said.

The Alabama Labor Department said it has seen an increase in fraud cases during the pandemic. “We see a lot of things like this. People need to be very careful and keep a track on their financial information and credit report,” Hutchison said.

Today Harbin said they still haven’t talked with a person at the Labor Department but they were notified the crook got paid with the unemployment check.

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