A man was working a job during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when, unbeknownst to him, someone used his name and other information to file a claim for unemployment compensation.

The man learned of the fraud when he lost his job and filed for unemployment, and was told he couldn’t open a claim because one already existed in his name, according to Erie police.

The man, who has since found a new job, is still waiting to get the matter rectified and to collect the unemployment compensation he was entitled to when he was out of work, investigators said.

At least two dozen bogus unemployment claims have been reported to the Pennsylvania State Police since July 1, according to reports issued by stations in the agency's Troop E. which covers Erie, Crawford, Venango and Warren counties.

The man’s experience is not unique in the Erie region, or across the country. A growing number of individuals are filing phony claims seeking money as they look to profit from state and federal assistance programs set up to aid those people who are out of work because of the pandemic.

Since July 1, at least two dozen bogus unemployment claims have been reported in northwest Pennsylvania to the…

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