How To Report Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claims
Widespread fraud campaigns in which victims’ identities are being used to file false unemployment claims are spreading across the U.S. as COVID-19 transmission and resulting job losses increase. Victims, who have not filed unemployment claims, are receiving notification from their employer’s Human Resources department, or the State Employment Securities Department (ESD), indicating an unemployment claim has been filed on their behalf. Cyber-crime investigators are recommending the following steps for anyone who knows or believes that they are a victim.
Steps To Protect Your Financial Identity and Credit History
- Contact Human Resources – Contact your HR department to coordinate and report the incident to your employer.
- Contact Your State’s ESD – Call the State Employment Security Department (OR: 877-668-3204, WA: 800-246-9763) to report the fraud. You’ll need the following information: Last 4 of your SSN, date of birth, address, phone number, and how you learned a claim was filed on your behalf.
- Credit Report – Get a free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Report that the fraudulent claim was made using your identity. You can then put a fraud alert on your identity or freeze your credit—doing either is free. Find more information about freezing your credit here.
- FTC and IRS – File a short report with the FTC and give them the case number for your local police report. The FTC offers more information here. You can also set up an IRS account to prevent criminals from creating one first and lock your social security number.
- Keep Your Notes – Hang on to any notes, copies of emails, and anything else regarding the issue. This is the paper trail that you can reference if you face any identity issues or locate inaccuracies on your credit history sometime in the future.
Protecting Your Data and Identity
In the future, you can further protect yourself from cyber-crime by taking advantage of the following resources.
- A Guide to Digital Privacy for You and Your Family
- How to Increase Your Privacy and Security in Zoom
- Online Security Tips for Working From Home
And, as always, rest assured that Columbia Credit Union is taking every necessary step to keep your finances and personal information safe.