Scammers seek to profit from unemployed

Fee to file scam takes advantage of wait times, confusion.

An Ashland-based nonprofit organization is raising the alarm: Scammers are targeting the unemployed.

The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, which oversees training and employment initiatives in northwest Wisconsin, notified the public of the scam in an April 15 news release.

A website attempted to solicit payment from a recently laid off worker to file an unemployment claim with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, according to the news release.

A record number of individuals are being laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, overwhelming the state’s unemployment insurance website and telephone support line. The situation is complicated by confusion over federal government stimulus checks and how self-employed and contracted workers should file.

“For some, a small fee to help cut through the bureaucracy may sound very enticing,” the organization said.


To file an unemployment claim, visit . Individuals with no internet access can call 844-910-3661 to file a claim via phone, but that should be a last resort.

For more information on the northwest Wisconsin Job Centers or the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, visit or call 715 682-7235.

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