Fraudulent unemployment claims have been on the rise over the last year, which are likely due to the many COVID-19 stimulus payments that have been so readily available. The Texas Workforce Commission experienced a rise from 1,100 unemployment claims in 2019 to 611,000 claims during the pandemic, with 3,500 confirmed cases of identity theft. The state of Washington saw a rise from its few dozen fraudulent claims per year, to 122,000. This means that if a claim was filed in your name, your PII (Personally Identifiable Information) has been compromised because a Social Security Number is required to file a claim. Sources point to previous data breaches including the 2017 Equifax breach, where PII is being sold on the dark web.
Here are some steps you can take if a claim has been filed under your name.
- Report the claim by going to your state’s unemployment website, or use this link.
- Alert your Human Resources Department.
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
You can also visit the Federal Trade Commission to learn more about Identity Theft.