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Unemployment Insurance Fraud: What To Do If Someone Claims On Your behalf

In a massive scam that erupted in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, impostors are applying for unemployment benefits using the names and personal information of people who did not apply, warns United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Photo: Shutterstock

People learn about fraud when they receive a notice from the state unemployment benefits service or their employer that they are about to apply for benefits.

If this happens to you, it means someone is using your personal information, including your Social Security number and date of birth.

Act quickly. Here are the steps that can help you protect your finances and credit history:

  1. Report Fraud to your employer... Write down who you spoke to and when.
  2. Report fraud to your state unemployment agency... You can find these agencies here.
  3. Report fraud if possible in the Internet... An online report will save you time and make processing easier for the agency.
  4. Save the received confirmation or case number... If you are talking to someone, write down who you talked to and when.
  5. If you believe your identity has been stolen, please report the incident to local law enforcement and save a copy of the report.
  6. Visit IdentityTheft.govTo report fraud to the FTC and get help by posting a free one year fraud alert on your loan, getting free credit reports and closing any fraudulent accounts in your name. The site will also help you add a free advanced fraud alert or credit freeze to your credit report. This makes it difficult for an identity thief to open new accounts in your name.
  7. Often view your credit reports... In 2021, you can check your reports every week for free on the website AnnualCreditReport.com... This can help you quickly spot any new scams.

If you received an IRS Form 1099-G stating that you applied for benefits but did not actually receive them, you no need to claim these benefits in taxes, writes Dayton daily news. But in such a case, you must seek a revised 1099-G after your reports are filed to avoid future IRS scrutiny.

On the subject: How to Recognize Immigration Fraud and Protect Yourself: USCIS Recommendations

Unemployment benefits are usually transferred to accounts controlled by impostors. But sometimes payments are sent to a real person's account. If this happens to you, attackers can call, write a text message, or email to try to get you to send them some or all of the money. They may impersonate the state unemployment agency and say the money was sent in error. This is a money mule scam and your involvement in it can have serious consequences.

If you get benefits that you never applied for, notify your state unemployment agency and ask for instructions. Do not return calls, emails, or text messages asking you to transfer money, send cash, or deposit money on gift cards. An official agency will never suggest you refund this way. Anyone who asks you to do this is a scammer. With no exceptions.

The disclosure of your personal information may have been the result of several data breaches in recent years. For example, the Equifax hack in 2017 revealed the personal information of 147 million people.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

The problem affects applications in all 50 states, the newspaper notes. For example, among those in whose name false claims for unemployment benefits have been filed is Ohio Governor Mike Devine.

As ForumDaily wrote earlier:

  • In a Zoom session with the camera turned off, a scammer named Mayova detailed how he receives unemployment benefits, backed by COVID-19 aid, instead of the Americans who are entitled to the benefits. Such an international identity theft attack took at least $ 36 billion from unemployed Americans. How the scheme works - read in our material.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Mistakes and actions of immigrants that can lead to the loss of a green card

11 things that you absolutely cannot save on in the US

Called the whole family: in Florida, criminals pulled off a massive 'virtual kidnapping'

Doctor, teacher, clown: how cruel maniacs pretended to be ordinary people for years

Miscellaneous In the U.S. fraud U.S. unemployment dole
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