Watch: ‘Unemployment Deposits Disappear’ (NBC Connecticut)

October 14, 2020

As published by NBC Connecticut on October 14, 2020:

Some Connecticut residents were surprised when their unemployment checks didn’t get deposited in their bank accounts. The Department of Labor said they were victims of fraud, but was unable to say the money would be restored.

“My account had been compromised and my deposit account had been switched to a Wells Fargo account,” Allison VanDenburg of Groton said.

When Vandenburg got a hold of the Department of Labor she wasn’t satisfied with the answer.

“It was really discouraging because they basically said let’s cross our fingers and hope this Wells Fargo account isn’t a real account so that the money gets put back into unemployment and we can then pay you. As of today I have not seen any money,” Vandenburg said.

Vandenburg is not alone. A number of other individuals saw their unemployment deposits disappear after banking information was changed without their knowledge on their account.

The Department of Labor said in a statement that they are investigating and have contacted the Connecticut State Police.

“This is an ongoing investigation; CTDOL has examined our systems—they are constantly monitored against fraud and attack—and does not believe there was a lapse in security or system integrity,” the agency said in a statement.

State lawmakers like Sen. Craig Miner have called for a hearing on the issue. 

“It seems kind of helter skelter at least to me that a state agency who is definitely part of the transaction we be suggesting that someone who is waiting for their $565 to say you know go figure it out,” Miner said.

Wells Fargo, through a spokesman, said in a statement that the account is not a valid Wells Fargo account.

“Unfortunately, state unemployment fraud is a growing concern across the U.S.  We actively cooperate with federal law enforcement and impacted state agencies when we are notified of alleged fraud,” Kevin Friedlander of Wells Fargo said in a statement.

Vandenburg said she changed her account information and was able to receive her deposit this week.

“Every single day I check it. Yep, I check it every single day,” Vandenburg said.