The Riverside Police Department is warning the community about a mail fraud scheme involving letters from the Employment Development Department or E.D.D. which handles unemployment insurance.
Officer Ryan Railsback spokesperson for the Riverside P.D. says over the last few weeks they have seen an increase in calls about the fraudulent letters, sometimes dozens sent to the same address.
“I saw another call today where somebody was calling in saying that they had at least thirty pieces of mail in different people’s names that got sent to them somehow,” said Railsback.
Railsback says cases of identity theft for unemployment claims are up too. And since right now the E.D.D. is overwhelmed with a backlog of claims, the Riverside P.D. is stepping up to help.
While the E.D.D. directs residents to write “return to sender” on the letters and put them back in their mail box, Railsback says people should to call the police station so that an officer can come pick it up. This is to keep people safe from the scammers.
“We’ve seen that they’ve been going through mailboxes knowing that this is happening," said Railsback. "Going through people’s mailboxes during the day or night looking for these pieces of E.D.D. mail that they could figure out how to scam the government or scam the person who is entitled to it.”
There have even been instances of people showing up to homes posing as government officials or as the owners of the letters and coercing or threatening residents for the mail. Railsback urges people to contact officers as soon as the suspicious mail is received.