LOS ANGELES - FOX 11 brought you a story on Tuesday about apparent fraud involving the Employment Development Department and that got the attention of some of our viewers.
They are coming in fast and furious.
Calls for help from FOX 11 viewers, pretty much at the same pace that EDD mail addressed to strangers are arriving at homes all over Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino Counties and beyond.
“Ever since we put our home up for sale,” says one post on the Fox LA Facebook page, which seems to be common.
As soon as people list a property, sale, or rental, dozens of letters from the EDD, even cash cards, begin to arrive, to different names, at the same address.
Investigators seem to believe it’s fraud with people hoping to grab the mail before unsuspecting residents get to it.
While the names are strangers, in at least one case, the paperwork actually used the social security number of the resident, from whose account someone is getting paid.
Everyone we’ve talked to complains that calls to EDD hotlines go to voicemail, and messages go unanswered, as do emails.
While the level of frustration is as overwhelming as the calls for an emergency audit of EDD, Governor Newsom continues denying the requests from legislators.
He says there are five new people at EDD “looking under the hood” and helping investigators, who are working with local, state and federal authorities.
A month ago, there were not enough people to answer the calls for legitimate claims that are still going unpaid, so most of those we talked to doubt that five people will make a difference with thousands of fraudulent claims being added to the mess.
“I have family members whose real claims have never been resolved," says one woman, adding that “it’s sad to think that the crooks are getting the money that good people, who are now unemployed are waiting for.”