Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! It continues to be a privilege to represent Livonia, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in Lansing. I encourage you to stay up to date on what’s going on in Lansing and continue to let me know about the issues that matter to you.
Cracking Down on Price Gouging
Right before the legislature entered an in-district work period, Senator Jeremy Moss and I introduced legislation that would prohibit excessive pricing for certain energy products, like gas, during spiking market trends. Under this bill, purposeful price gouging would be a misdemeanor and could result in jail time and a hefty fine.
Specifically, HB 6305 defines gouging as “an unjustified disparity of more than 20%” between an energy product or service being sold and other comparable products and services before, during or after a market disruption.
During emergencies and threats to our communities, such as natural disasters, incidences of terrorism or declared states of emergency, unscrupulous actors currently hold too much power to artificially inflate the costs of goods or services, preying on people’s fears. This bill would add protections against, and penalties for these practices in the energy industry.
To see what the legislature voted on during our most recent session, please click here. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at (517) 373-3920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UIA Alerts Public of Text Message Phishing Scam
If you have filed for unemployment benefits and receive a text message claiming to be from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), ignore it — it’s a scam. The UIA does not use text messaging to correspond with claimants.
The agency’s anti-fraud investigators have learned of a recent phishing scheme to try to steal money and personal information from Michigan workers who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. The text message comes from an out-of-state phone number and provides a link to claim back payments. Do not click on the link. Report it as junk or spam and delete the text.
The UIA communicates with claimants through their Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) account, letters mailed to the current address on file, or by phone.
The suspicious text message is from a phone number with a 210 area code, which is in Texas. The message reads in part: “MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: Your back payment deposit of $2,800 is now pending on your profile.” It then instructs the recipient to click on a strange link to receive payment. The link is to a fake, replica UIA website.
This is an example of a government imposter scam, which Attorney General Dana Nessel highlights on the Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Alerts page.
Here are 10 tips from the UIA to protect your personal information:
- Scrutinize the webpage URL or link that you receive. If it is not an official Michigan.gov website, do not use it.
- If you do not trust a website or information, call the UIA’s Customer Service center at (866)-500-0017 to verify what you are seeing.
- You should only link to UIA information or services through gov/UIA.
- The UIA will never ask a claimant to provide logins, passwords, or banking information.
- The UIA will never ask a claimant to send information to our personal emails.
- The UIA will never ask a claimant to text information back.
- Keep your MiLOGIN and MiWAM information secure, do not provide it to anyone.
- If someone calls and you are suspicious about the intent, hang up and call the UIA at (866)-500-0017 and request staff to send information to you through your MiWAM account.
- If a caller provides information that sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Hang up.
- Make sure your contact information is current should UIA staff need to reach you.
If you suspect fraud or identity theft, report it by clicking on the Report Fraud and Identity Theft link at Michigan.gov/UIA and fill out a referral form. Be sure to fill out all the information and make sure it is current. Staff will respond to you in a timely manner. Here you will find a UIA video that explains how to report identity theft.
UIA’s What is UI Fraud webpage at Michigan.gov/UIA explains the many ways the agency fights fraud, including as a leading partner in the Unemployment Insurance Fraud Response Team, leveraging tools and resources through the national Integrity Data Hub to identify criminals and participating in the Department of Labor’s Tiger Teams initiative to identify best anti-fraud practices.
Cooling Centers in Wayne County
Heat waves are serious. With highs expected to reach the 90s this weekend, It’s important for everyone to stay cool and keep hydrated as temperatures rise. If you need a place to go or know of someone who needs to get out of the heat, please check this list of safe places throughout Wayne County where residents can go to stay cool. You can also find more information on cooling centers by dialing 2-1-1.
I hope you can join me for one of my upcoming in-person and virtual coffee hours! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues families face in our community. In-person coffee hours are held at Coffee + Cream here in Livonia. You can join the livestream for my virtual coffee hours on my Facebook page.
Sunday, Aug. 7, from 2-3 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 22, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
19th House District