Bismarck resident receives suspicious letters from Job Service North Dakota

Suspicious mail
Suspicious mail(KFYR)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:04 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Bismarck residents are receiving suspicious mail that appears to be sent from Job Service North Dakota.

Residents said the mail wasn’t addressed to them but to someone who didn’t live there.

Mary Jo Steidler said she received about fifteen of these letters, none of which were addressed to her.

Some of the letters asked the person to verify the address.

Others showed evidence of an attempt to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. After receiving letter after letter in the mail from Job Service, Steidler’s concern grew.

“I sent a letter to North Dakota Job Service and I asked them, I told them that I, and I sent back two of the ones that I had gotten and said you know we’ve been getting multiple of these and I’m nervous that somebody is using our address and we don’t know any of these people,” said Bismarck Resident Mary Jo Steidler.  

Those somebodies are participating in what Job Service ND representatives call fraudulent behavior.

“It looks like the criminals are getting braver and it seems that they do have actual names and addresses that they are legitimate names and addresses that they are using in the system to file false claims,” said Job Service North Dakota Communications Officer Sarah Arntson.

Job Service representatives said if you receive one and the address or name doesn’t match yours, you should return to sender, because that will help them detect these cases of fraud.

Steidler did all of that, but she still has some questions.

“If this is an address verification form, and they’re not getting it because it’s coming to my address then how are they getting the money that they are trying to get,” said Steidler. 

Job Service representatives said they send out unemployment payments in two ways: either through debit cards by mail or through direct deposit in a bank account.

So, if a criminal were to use someone’s name and social security number, they could essentially have the payment routed to a bank account they created without the victim ever knowing. These suspicious envelopes are still under investigation, but if you have received one you can either return to sender or call the Job Service ND Bismarck Workforce Center at 701-328-5000.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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