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Unemployment Fraud: Suspected Colorado Scammers Net Over $73M in Benefits

Amy Sparwasser / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Suspected or likely scammers were paid more than $73 million in unemployment benefits from March 2020 through April 2021 by the state of Colorado, per Colorado Newsline, according to a Dec. 6 performance report from the state auditor’s office.

See: Scam Alert: IRS Warns of Scammers Asking for Gift Cards for Tax Payments
Find: Is Your Unemployment Income Refund Taxable?

These payouts include $3.9 million in benefits paid on behalf of deceased individuals and $100,000 on behalf of children younger than working age. An additional $46 million went to people with “multiple indicators of fraud,” $18.5 million to those with suspicious bank account information and more than $5 million to people in prison — individuals ineligible for unemployment benefits entirely. 

There were also issues with how the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment responded to requests for assistance coming from those who had been put on fraud hold. The department couldn’t provide sufficient evidence that it had resolved nearly three-quarters of such requests.

Requests for resolution took seven weeks on average to address, but the audit also found that 16% of requests took 61 to 120 days to resolve — and that 6% of resolution requests took…

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