State labor officials are warning of an online scam aimed at residents seeking unemployment benefits.


There is never a charge to file for unemployment compensation, and the only legitimate way to file for unemployment benefits in Alabama is through the Alabama Department of Labor, either online at labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866-234-5382.


Any messages or statements counter to this are false and likely a scam, officials said.


“There have been multiple reports of scams involving unemployment compensation nationwide,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “I want to urge Alabamians to be on their guard and to make sure that they are giving their information to legitimate entities.”


Washington said the department has shut down at least one Facebook page that had cloned the official ADOL Facebook page and then made bogus offers of prizes and requests to allow them to file for benefits on the claimant’s behalf.


Additionally, the Alabama Department of Labor’s Facebook account is marked with the blue checkmark, meaning it is a verified account.


“Not only would ADOL never participate in a contest to give away money, but we would never charge for our services,” Washington said. “These entities or individuals are attempting to procure claimants’ personal information for purposes that are 99% likely to be criminal in nature.”


This fraudulent Facebook page was removed after being reported and the Attorney General’s Office is working with state Department of Labor to investigate.


Suspected fraud activities should be reported to TipHotline@labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-855-234-2856.


These actions also can be reported to the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor at oig.dol.gov/hotline.htm or by phone at 202-693-6999 or 1-800-347-3756.


Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com.