Identity theft and fraudulent unemployment claims: What to do
The most prevalent pain point for employers over the last 3 or 4 months has shifted from the high volume of unemployment claims to managing a rash of fraudulently filed imposter unemployment claims. These are instances in which a bad actor has stolen someone’s identity and filed a claim for unemployment benefits. The Federal Trade Commission has reported a near 18-fold increase in fraudulent government documents from 2019 to 2020. This issue is currently impacting employers and their employees nationwide with the US Department of Labor inspector general’s office estimating that more than $63 billion has been paid out improperly through fraud or errors — roughly 10% of the total amount paid under coronavirus pandemic-related unemployment programs since March 2020.
What are some indicators of possible fraudulent unemployment activities?
Insure your employees are mindful of any documents from their state’s unemployment agency, especially in the event they have not recently filed a claim. These communications could include a “notice of password reset”, notice of “PIN” reset, receipt of bankcard, confirmation of direct deposit, request for information, or any other form or document from the unemployment agency.
What to do if it happens, and resources:
- Report to local law enforcement
- Take action to protect your credit report –
- Fraud alert
- Credit freeze
- Credit lock
- Continue to monitor your credit report or consider using a provider that specializes in credit protection and monitoring
- Utilize the following websites:
- DOL Unemployment Fraud Reporting –
- FTC Identity Theft Reporting –