Department of Labor calling unemployment applicants from private numbers


Pedestrian uses her phone while wearing a face mask. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In an effort to connect with New Yorkers who have submitted unfinished or partially complete applications for unemployment compensation, the state’s Department of Labor says it will call those individuals.

Calls from the DOL appear as up as private number or “Private Caller” from official labor department call centers because some agents and staffers are telecommuting. The Department says it will call back if someone misses a call.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney was immediately committed to ensuring that no peaceful protesters were jailed and incarcerated while our office waited to examine the evidence presented to determine whether the elements of the instant charges were met, especially at a time where our legal community has worked tirelessly to decrease the exposure to COVID19 in the jail.

In the instant cases, the evidence provided showed that the elements of the charges were not met, resulting in a motion not to proceed by this office and ultimate dismissal by the court on motion of the defense.

Additionally, it is imperative for the community to know that only the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office speaks for itself. At a time when several different statements had been made to peaceful protesters and attendees and varying levels of action or inaction was taken by parties at different levels of government, this office was not on scene to engage in the dialogue and had no desire to have any threats of prosecution or any other statements attributed to it by parties who do not speak for the office.

Shea C. Coleman, Esq.

The Call Back Initiative comes even as many official channels—from local law enforcement to federal agencies—routinely warn against accepting calls from or transacting at all with private numbers who say they represent the government.

Unfortunately, scammers routinely rely on bait and switch schemes, extracting important information from innocent individuals who don’t realize the fraud at hand when they pretend to represent government agencies.

A formerly fool-proof defense against a con of this sort would be calling back the department at an official number rather than giving out any information over the phone. Without being able to use that technique to verify the nature of the call, the initiative potentially leaves many vulnerable to being exploited.

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