Unemployment Compensation Fraud Information
Dear BASD Employees,
Unemployment Fraud in Pennsylvania is an ongoing issue with the state's new benefits system which was implemented on June 8, 2021. Our third party administrator who handles unemployment compensation for the Berwick Area School District received notification of over 2,000 reported fraud cases in just one week. This is 20 times higher than prior to the roll out of the State’s new benefit system. The State has identified id.me as a solution to mitigate this fraud but they are still a few weeks out for implementation according to our sources. Unemployment Compensation (UC) fraud has increased exponentially with the roll out of the new benefit system. Labor and Industry (L&I) is aware of the increase and are actively looking at placing additional security measures in place. The fraudsters are part of organized crime rings across the world trying to infiltrate the billions of dollars in stimulus monies ear marked for unemployment. These fraudsters are using personal information they’ve purchased off of the dark web, which have occurred through previous data breaches. Data breaches are in the news on a regular basis. Examples of some large data breaches include, Equifax, Adobe, eBay, Marriott International, Yahoo, Target.
Effective July 14, 2021 when the District receives a notification of an unemployment claim, the Business Office will contact you via telephone to confirm the accuracy of the claim using the number that is on file in the Human Resources/Payroll system. In addition, we will also send an email to your Berwick Area SD email. Please note emails received OUTSIDE of the Berwick Area School District are always marked [EXTERNAL]. Always use extreme caution when replying to emails and know who you are communicating with. The Business Office will NEVER ask you for your Social Security Number.
Please follow the steps below for Accurate or Fraudulent claims when contacted:
- Confirm the claim is accurate by speaking with Renee Jilinski (Business Manager) or Kara Lutz (Payroll Specialist) AND
- Reply to the email received by the Business Office that the claim is accurate.
FRAUDULENT CLAIMS Steps 1-3 (Required)
- Confirm the claim is FRAUDULENT by speaking with Renee Jilinski (Business Manager) or Kara Lutz (Payroll Specialist).
- Reply to the email received by the Business Office that the claim is FRAUDULENT.
- Employee should then report the fraud to Dept. of Labor & Industry through this link as identity theft: Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation (UC) Benefits System (pa.gov)
Most importantly, please understand that your information is now vulnerable and being used by fraudsters. This is not due to a data breach at the Berwick Area School District. Further information can be found in External Resources.
External Resources (Optional) Below are some links to information regarding UC Fraud:
If there are further questions you may contact the Business Office, Renee Jilinski or Kara Lutz, via email or telephone.
Renee M. Jilinski
We are pleased that you are interested in a position in the Berwick Area School District. This is an excellent school system in which to work, and we are continually seeking outstanding people to join our staff. In order for you application to be considered by our administrators, you will need to provide us with the following materials:
APPLICATION- It is essential that the names, addresses and telephone numbers of your references be current. Applicant must possess a High School Diploma or GED.
The Berwick Area School District will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, handicap, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with the state and federal laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Employees and participants who have an inquiry or complaint of harassment or discriminations or who need information about accommodations for handicapped persons, should contact Robert Croop, Title IX Coordinator or Wendy Kupsky, Section 504 Compliance Officer, Berwick Area School District, 500 Line Street, Berwick, PA 18603 (570) 759-6400.