How to tell if that unemployment check is legitimate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With more than 1.7 million Floridians applying for unemployment since March, the Department of Economic Opportunity has rolled out a new tool on its website this week.

The feature allows users to check how many people have filed for unemployment benefits, along with how many people have received their benefits since applying, which is a little over 6 percent.

As so many people are waiting for unemployment, it’s fair to wonder what an authentic check looks like.

That’s what motivated a viewer to contact News4Jax. They emailed us a photo of a check they received and asked us to confirm if it was legitimate, or a cruel trick delivered by an opportunistic scammer.

State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said the first thing to look for when you receive a check is the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s logo. Besides that, you’ll also want to make sure the state seal is located in the upper lefthand corner. Finally, it should also feature Patronis’ signature.

If your check doesn’t meet those requirements, here are some telltale signs of a bogus check:

  • A fake check often has no long or one that is faded, suggesting it was copied from somewhere else;
  • In addition, illegitimate checks are routinely lighter than the paper stock used for authentic checks;
  • Stains or gaps around signatures, a digitized appearance, or many up and down pen strokes could indicate a check was reprinted from a scanned original or has been forged.

It’s also worth remembering that the government will never charge you to get your unemployment check, so if someone is pressuring you to pay them, you know it’s a scam.

Floridians with concerns about suspicious-looking reemployment checks are asked to contact the Department of Economic Opportunity.

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