Utica man receives unsolicited unemployment benefits

While many New Yorkers chased down unemployment benefits during the pandemic, waiting weeks, even months, for desperately-needed funds, Paul Monte, of north Utica, merely had to walk to his mailbox.

Posted: Mar 2, 2021 5:18 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2021 9:27 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- While many New Yorkers chased down unemployment benefits during the pandemic, waiting weeks, even months, for desperately-needed funds, Paul Monte, of north Utica, merely had to walk to his mailbox. The only catch: the pensioner never applied to receive unemployment benefits.

Monte received what he thought was a regular credit card in the mail.

"I said you know what? I'll active it in case I need it for anything. I'll activate it and then I'll just hold on to it. I don't use it, I don't use it. Well, I did active it and it told me I had $475 on it. I said how? From what? And the only thing that the card member could tell me is that it was from the labor department," said Monte.

Next came several hours worth of work, trying to get rid of the card.

"You sit here, nobody can help you. I don't understand it. ...I didn't ask for any of it so I've got to sit on the phone for three days talking to people who have no clue what they're doing," said Monte. 'Somebody told me at solutions that because the money's sitting there, at the end of the year, because I didn't take care of it, I'd have to pay taxes on it."

Monte strongly suspects identity theft, or, some other kind of fraud.

"Bank said there is another temporary card out there and it's 100 days for use after that, I gotta use this card. Well, lo and behold, somebody's got the card somewhere," said Monte.

The governor's office says anyone who receives a monetary determination letter from the Department of Labor but did not apply for unemployment benefits should immediately file a report at dol.ny.gov/uifraud.

Those who file reports with the Department of Labor online will not be required to take any further steps and will automatically have any fraudulent charges cleared from their account.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1942469

Reported Deaths: 50977
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings2563999824
Queens2561569457
Suffolk1888053289
Nassau1732163085
Bronx1707686325
New York1284834268
Westchester1232032226
Erie781931671
Richmond685931724
Monroe587741024
Orange44911782
Rockland44823931
Onondaga35149658
Dutchess27142428
Albany23149340
Oneida21095497
Niagara17405331
Broome16957347
Saratoga13944158
Ulster12588240
Schenectady12128189
Rensselaer10359135
Putnam993891
Chautauqua8123131
Chemung6979133
Oswego680590
Ontario661191
Steuben6119141
St. Lawrence607494
Sullivan586468
Cayuga574590
Jefferson534563
Wayne505566
Cattaraugus496679
Genesee4945121
Herkimer4836107
Clinton439131
Madison420185
Tompkins398049
Fulton391085
Livingston389058
Columbia376299
Montgomery3749114
Cortland348260
Warren328855
Tioga327058
Wyoming317450
Allegany310782
Otsego306746
Greene303774
Chenango295672
Washington277955
Orleans267383
Lewis239133
Franklin235112
Delaware206935
Seneca182456
Schoharie147815
Essex147626
Yates108326
Schuyler96913
Hamilton2942
Unassigned17396
Out of NY0213
Rome
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 61°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 62°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 66°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!