By Nia Bender
COLORADO SPRINGS – Have you received a card that looks like this? I know I did! Knowing that I hadn’t applied for any new credit cards, I’ll admit that I was pretty confused. I picked up the phone and called USBank and attempted to get some answers. It was rather frustrating that the customer service representative with the company was vague and unhelpful. When I finally got upset with the lack of answers being given, I asked once again why I received this, to begin with. She said I would have to get my answers at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Like many Americans last year, I had periods of furlough time and I received unemployment benefits. My first thought was that this was part of Colorado’s plan to issue a $375 check to about 435,000 Coloradans who collected unemployment during the pandemic. I couldn’t reach anyone at Colorado Unemployment by phone, so I sent an email expressing my concern about possible fraud. Days later and I still have no clue what happened here. And USBANK is not going to offer you much help if you find one of their cards in your mailbox. It’s very important to cancel that card as soon as possible.
The timing for this is bad, due to the fact that thousands of Coloradans are unable to access their state unemployment benefits right now because the system is offline for scheduled upgrades. A desperately needed upgrade at that. The State Department of Labor and Unemployment announced the upgrades last year and then delayed them because of the extreme need caused by the covid-19 pandemic. Officials say the upgrades are even more critical now because the number of people using the system has exposed its deficiencies.
The new system is scheduled to be up by Sunday, January 10th,. Hundreds of employees are being added to the department’s call center to help with any issues that might arise. Just because you may not be able to easily contact the government agency at this very moment, they do need to hear from you if you believe that your name is being used in some form of fraud.