Scammers targeting Florida residents seeking unemployment benefits

Email offering $12,600 in payments is a fake, DEO says

Hundreds of unemployed workers demanding change for DEO benefits system

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is warning people about a scam targeting people seeking unemployment benefits due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The DEO handles the state’s unemployment benefits, or payments, and has been slammed since March because of financial fallout from COVID-19.

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According to the DEO, an email has been sent to some indicating they are eligible for $12,600 of “new pandemic stimulus benefits.” However, there are several signs the email is fake, unemployment payments are not that high and the URL is also a tell.

“This is not an officials email from the Department of Economic Opportunity. This is a scam,” the DEO warned, adding the scam email may come from an email address ending in .ULF.edu.

Individuals who receive this email or similar suspicious messages can report them at ReportRAScam@deo.myflorida.com. Here are several tips from the DEO of how to avoid scams.

Under a new coronavirus relief bill signed by President Trump this week pandemic unemployment benefits have been extended. People are able to apple for those additional six weeks now. The DEO is working to implement those as quickly as possible. Click here for the latest unemployment benefit changes.

Since March, the DEO has paid out more than $19.7 billion in unemployment benefits.