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Unemployment insurance fraud and identity theft

Unemployment insurance fraud 

Unemployment insurance fraud is a crime. 

Applicants can commit unemployment insurance fraud by:

  • Knowingly making a false statement or representation, 
  • Deliberately failing to disclose material facts, or 
  • Knowingly withholding information in order to obtain unemployment benefits. 

Employers can commit unemployment insurance fraud by colluding with an applicant(s) to receive benefits illegally. Employers can also take illegal actions to avoid unemployment insurance taxes. 

If you have reason to believe an applicant or an employer may have committed unemployment insurance fraud, please report that to us using our online fraud form

Identity theft 

Unfortunately, identity theft is now commonplace, with some estimates suggesting that up 7-10 percent of Americans are affected each year. Identity thieves can get your private information through:

  • Data breaches (whether accidental or intentional)
  • Phishing schemes (a data thief convinces you to disclose private data either via email or a website)
  • Viewing private information you sent over an insecure internet connection (like a coffee shop’s WiFi)
  • Stealing physical materials from you (like your wallet or your mail)

When a fraudster obtains your private information, they sometimes use it to create an imposter unemployment insurance account in your name. They do this to try to steal money from the Unemployment Insurance Program.

When someone files for an unemployment insurance account in your name, your employer will get a letter in the mail. If the imposter used your real address, you will also get mailed letters to your home. These are indicators that your private information has been compromised. If an imposter has applied for unemployment benefits in your name, it means that person already had your private information BEFORE they applied.

Reporting an unemployment insurance imposter account

Other steps you can take to protect your information

There are several steps you can take to take control of your private information. Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s website on identity theft for a list of things you should do next:

You should consider:

  • Filing a police report with your local police department. You can usually do so online or through the non-emergency line.
  • Filing a fraud alert with one of the major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion). This will make it harder for identity thieves to create new accounts in your name.
  • A credit monitoring or identity protection services. Your bank/financial institution may offer free credit monitoring tools, such as a free credit report.
  • Changing passwords on your email, banking, and other personal accounts.

Questions and answers

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