Long Beach man getting numerous EDD letters addressed to strangers

Leo Stallworth Image
Thursday, July 22, 2021
SoCal man receiving piles of EDD mail addressed to strangers
"So far I think there's been about 20 different names, and I have no idea who any of these people are, but it just keeps coming and coming."

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A Long Beach man says he's been receiving mail from the EDD addressed to random strangers for weeks.

"I'm definitely thinking it's got to be some kind of fraud thing just because there's not that many people living in my apartment. So far I think there's been about 20 different names and I have no idea who any of these people are but it just keeps coming and coming," said Joshua Stewart.

The EDD is investigating.

Stewart says he wrote "not at this address" on the EDD mail and placed it back into the mailbox for the postal delivery person to take away. He thought that would take care of it, but it didn't.

"Now I keep getting even more and more and more. It seems like every day, it's more than the previous day," Stewart said.

He says he reached out to Eyewitness News in a desperate attempt to get help resolving what is becoming an overwhelming problem for him.

"Trying to get through to EDD is an absolute nightmare," he said.

MORE | EDD representative answers most commonly asked questions

More than a year into the pandemic, EDD is still overwhelmed with people applying for unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, a market in Redlands says they can't find people who want a job.

Stewart isn't willing to cash in on the possible fraud. He fears it could be money taken away from those who truly need it. He's hoping others in his situation are looking to do the right thing as well.

"There's gotta be people out there that are genuinely waiting on this," he said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the EDD and received the following statement:

"This individual who contacted you is correct in that the best thing to do is to mark Return to Sender on the notices and have them sent back to EDD. We greatly appreciate the assistance of Californians in this effort.

We remind Californians that if fraud is suspected, an individual should report it to the EDD immediately."

You can also report false claims on EDD's website.

Meantime, California has appointed a former federal prosecutor to help investigate billions of dollars in fraudulent unemployment benefits paid by the state.

California has paid out $158 billion in benefits since March of last year.

Officials say about $11 billion of that was fraudulent, and another $20 billion has been labeled as suspicious.

EDD says people must look for work to get jobless aid. So, what qualifies as looking for a job?

After suspending the requirement, the EDD now says workers must look for work to receive unemployment benefits.