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Steps to Take After Unemployment Fraud

According to state and federal authorities a record number of Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, and fraudulent unemployment claims from criminals using stolen identities number in the tens of thousands. How do you know if your identity is being used to file a fraudulent claim? There are four common ways:
1. You still have a job and your current employer tells you they’ve been notified that you’ve supposedly applied for jobless benefits. (Employers are notified by the state as a matter of course when a former employee applies for jobless benefits. )
 
2. You receive a notice from your state unemployment benefits office about your supposed application for benefits.
 
3. You’ve lost your job and apply for unemployment insurance benefits only to be learn from the state labor officials that someone with your exact same identity is already collecting unemployment.
 
4. Unexplained unemployment insurance benefits are deposited to your bank account. You then receive a phone call from someone claiming they are from the state labor office or the IRS asking you to send them a check for the deposited amount because it was deposited in error – never follow those instructions as banks and government agencies have methods to retrieve erroneous deposits without you sending them a check.
 
If you or your employees or other workforce partners have become a victim of fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, please use this guide for steps to further protect your identity.

NOTIFY THE STATE WHERE YOU RESIDE BY COMPLETING AND FILING A FRAUD REPORT
New Hampshire
Phone: 1-800-852-3400, ext 84016
 
Massachusetts
Phone: 1-877-626-6800
 
TELL YOUR EMPLOYER
Report the fraud to your employer. Keep a record of who you spoke with and when along with the outcome of the conversation. The state Unemployment Benefits Agency can, and often does, contact your employer seeking information about the claim and you’d want your employer to know you were not responsible for filing a fake claim.
 
FILE A POLICE REPORT IN THE TOWN YOU LIVE IN.
Be sure to get a copy of the report to provide to creditors. Clear your name of any false / illegitimate criminal charges that may have been perpetrated by someone using your identity.
 
NOTIFY BANKS, INVESTMENT FIRMS WHERE YOU HAVE ACCOUNTS
Ask them to put an ID theft alert on your accounts. Review your bank statements and file disputes for any unauthorized/suspicious movement of money. Close new accounts opened in your name.
 
PLACE CREDIT FREEZES WITH EACH OF THE THREE MAJOR CREDIT BUREAUS
(Note: Prevents potential lenders from accessing your credit report)
 
Equifax
Phone: 800-349-9960
 
Experian
Phone: 888 397 3742
 
TransUnion
Phone: 888-909-8872
 
PLACE A FRAUD ALERT ON CREDIT FILE
(Note: Requires creditors to verify your identity)
Be prepared for the creditor to take extra steps to verify your identity. After you place a fraud alert with one credit bureau, all other credit bureaus are required by law to automatically send you a free credit report. A fraud alert remains on your credit file for one year. Extended fraud alerts are available up to seven years. You will need a copy of the police report filed in the above steps to submit when you file a fraud alert.
 
Equifax
Phone: 1-800-525-6285
 
Experian
Phone: 1-888-397-3742
 
Transunion
Phone: 1-800-680-7289
 
OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Look for any accounts you did not open, unauthorized transactions, unexplained debt, address and telephone number changes you did not make. File disputes immediately. Request bogus charges be removed from your credit file
(Skip this step if you have filed a fraud alert – see above)
 
FILE A REPORT WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
 
REVIEW YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY WORK HISTORY

Use this lookup tool to find the social security administration office/telephone number nearest your home.
 
NOTIFY THE IRS THAT YOU’VE BEEN A VICTIM OF ID THEFT
File form f14039
 
NOTIFY YOUR HEALTH PLAN INSURANCE CARRIER
If you suspect this fraud may carry over to health or pharmacies, then contact each doctor, clinic, hospital, pharmacy, laboratory, and health plan if you suspect your information is being fraudulently used. Ask for copies of your medical records and be prepared to pay fees to obtain them.
 
CHECK YOU MOBILE PHONE RECORDS
Check for suspicious calling activity or changes to name/address/plans that you did not request. Are you concerned about other utilities? Check them, too.
 
CHANGE ALL OF YOUR PASSWORDS
Do not use the same password for all logins – use a unique one per each logon account.
  • Online Banking (and make sure your email address and phone number have not been changed in your profile)
  • Personal email accounts
  • Home Wi-Fi passwords
  • Home security systems and other Internet connected devices
  • Social media accounts
  • Netflix and similar video entertainment venues

If you've been victim of a fraudulent unemployment claim, these steps can help you protect your identity. Do you have any lingering questions questions or concerns about cyber and information security? Don't hesitate to contact us!
 
 

HOLLY POULIOT

Senior Vice President - Risk and Information Security Officer
 
 
(978) 556-5429