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Uptick in Unemployment Fraud Scams

by Office of Senator Judy Schwank

Jun 30, 2021

“My office has seen a significant uptick in calls related to unemployment fraud since the implementation of the new Unemployment Compensation (UC) system. As many are aware, the rollout of this new system has been very difficult. Unfortunately, the rise in fraud claims will only exacerbate problems we are seeing and steer resources away from claimants who truly need help. Even members of my staff and I have been the targets of phishing attempts and fraudulent claims.

If you believe someone may have used your identity to file an unemployment claim, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), you should do the following:

To report someone who has filed for UC benefits using your personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and date of birth without your knowledge or consent, please visit the UC Benefits Website and click “Report Fraud” to complete and submit the Identity Theft Form. Do not log in.

  • To report benefit fraud related to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), fill out a Benefits Fraud Form on the L&I website.
  • You can also call the L&I Fraud Hotline at 1-800-692-7469.
  • File a police report with your local municipality. A copy of the police report must be provided to the Office of Unemployment Compensation.
  • If you are a victim of identity theft, please visit the Federal Trade Commission Opens In A New Window website to learn how to start a recovery plan.
  • If you can’t access the FTC website, call your federal representative for assistance.
  • If you are concerned your personal information may have been stolen and want to protect your identity when filing a federal tax return, you can request an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) from the IRS.

Recently scammers have been attempting to use text messages to collect sensitive information. L&I sends automated text alerts but will never request your personal information via text message. Please exercise caution if you receive text messages from unverified numbers or comments on social media offering help via an email address or direct link. Additionally, never give out personal information through messaging apps or social media.”

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