RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — With so many Californians filing for unemployment and struggling to get in contact with the Employment Development Department, residents are being urged to turn over suspicious mail straight to Riverside police.
The coronavirus pandemic shut down entire industries in March, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without work and in desperate need for help.
The onslaught of unemployment claims — which officials said is approximately 10,000 per day — have led to claims of fraud, prompting an audit and a reset period.
The EDD said the reset within the department will last until October 5. The existing backlogs are expected to be cleared up between now and January, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
According to Newsom, the pause within the EDD accepting unemployment claims won’t impact applications that are already in progress and that the backlog should be cleared by January.
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The issue investigators are looking into within the state’s unemployment department is mail fraud, prompting Riverside police to issue a warning Monday to beware of suspects showing up at homes to take incoming and returned mail from mailboxes.
“Some residents have even been contacted at their home, then coerced and threatened into relinquishing the EDD mail,” Riverside police spokesman Officer Ryan Railsback said in a statement.
Even though the EDD suggests recipients of unintended mail return it back to the post office labeled “return to sender,” Riverside police is recommending that suspicious mail be turned in directly to officers as soon as it is discovered.
Riverside residents who find unsolicited correspondence from the EDD or other unemployment offices from other states can call the Public Safety Communications Center at (951) 354-2007 so an officer can be sent out to collect the suspicious mail.