Rhode Island unemployment calls going to woman in Colorado

"I am not the unemployment office, I am an individual in Colorado."

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – If you called the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training in the last several months about your unemployment claim and didn’t hear back, it’s possible that’s because you were transferred to a woman living in Colorado.

Susie Larson contacted ABC 6 because she’s had no luck getting through to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

For the last five months, she says she’s been getting calls from people wondering where their checks are five, six, sometimes seven time a day. She, of course, can’t help them.

Larson is a single mom living in Windsor, Colo. She runs her own business from home and depends on her cell phone for work.

But interrupting that work since April have been hundreds of calls from Rhode Islanders.

“It usually starts at about 8 o’clock in the morning, and goes till about 4 P.M. at night,” said Larson.

At first, she wrote it off as spam since her number has a Colorado area code.

But then one day, a caller left a voicemail.

“I filed for unemployment, where’s my check?” Larson described.

Soon messages began piling up in her voicemail box wondering the same thing, checking on their unemployment claims.

“And I’m frustrated because it’s a different person every time of course, because it’s different individuals calling and being transferred or being referred to my phone to check on the status of their check,” said Larson.

She created an automatic text reply for those who call with 4-0-1 area codes.

“‘You have been forwarded to an individual, you need to call the unemployment office back, because I am not the unemployment office, I am an individual in Colorado,'” she quoted.

Fortunately for her, the calls stop on weekends since the unemployment office is closed.

She’s not sure if someone gave out her number or if there’s an issue in how the call is being
transferred.

Whatever the reason is, she’s baffled.

“Why Colorado, why?” she said.

In a statement a spokesperson for the Department of Labor and Training simply said that they have not given out Larson’s number and that they don’t have it listed online.

Larson says she feels terrible that these people calling her aren’t getting the help they need during such an uncertain time.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island, US & World News