For Immediate Release
March 5, 2009
Robby Cunningham, (850) 245-7130
Attorney General’s Press Office, (850) 245-0150
Attorney General, Agency for Workforce Innovation Warn Floridians About Unemployment Claims Scams
~ Jobless Floridians reminded there is no charge for filing unemployment claims ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum and Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) Interim Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo today issued a joint consumer advisory warning Floridians to be wary of companies offering to file unemployment compensation claims for a fee. Recent reports from other states indicate consumers have signed up for such services, only to later discover unemployment claims were never filed on their behalf. Of equal concern is that consumers have also provided their social security numbers, thinking they were dealing with state agencies.
“We are dedicated to helping Floridians receive the unemployment benefits to which they are entitled,” said AWI Interim Director Lorenzo. “The Agency for Workforce Innovation offers free, convenient and secure online filing at our website, http://www.floridajobs.org.”
“It really is unthinkable that a con artist would try to victimize someone trying to receive assistance in a time of need,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum. “I encourage Floridians to remain vigilant to prevent falling for this scam.”
Some states have reported complaints from consumers who have conducted internet searches for “unemployment claims” or similar terms which provided results including private companies. Consumers are then directed to provide their social security numbers and receive e-mails from the companies saying their claim is being processed. Complaints from other states also indicated that consumers were told that for a fee, they could receive help on their resumes, and while terms and conditions are posted on the websites, they aren’t always readily apparent to consumers.
Attorney General McCollum and the Agency for Workforce Innovation encouraged consumers to be wary of providing personal information such as social security numbers to unknown entities. Floridians are also reminded that there is no charge for filing unemployment claims.
Consumers who believe they may have been victimized by potentially deceptive or unfair practices should contact the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-866-966-7226 or by visiting the Attorney General’s website at http://www.myfloridalegal.com.