Scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and states across the country are seeing an increase in reports of unemployment claim fraud due to identity theft.
It’s important to know what to do – as family members, employees, and customers may be looking for help after receiving notice that a fraudulent unemployment claim was filed using their personal information.
Identity Theft via Unemployment Claim: What to Do
If you suspect a claim has been improperly filed using your identity or your employees’ identity you need to follow the steps on your state’s website. Here are links to surrounding states in our area.
Receipt of 1099-G: What to Do
If you, or someone you know, opens the mailbox and finds a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, for a claim that they did not receive payment for due to identity theft, here are general tips we learned during a recent session with the Kansas Attorney General (we assume other states require similar procedures):
- File a police report to document Fraudulent Identity Theft. You will receive a police report number that you need to retain.
- Fill out a dispute request as directed on your state’s website.
- Here is the link for Kansas https://www.dol.ks.gov/ui-faqs/1099g-forms. Click on “How do I report fraud if I received a 1099-G form for a fraudulent claim in my name?”
- File an “Unsworn Declaration Form” to declare you did not receive the benefits stated on the 1099-G.
- Dispute using Certified Mail. The Attorney General also suggested sending a written dispute requesting a revised 1099-G showing $0 received, along with a copy of the completed “Unsworn Declaration Form”. We strongly suggest sending this via Certified Mail.
- Contact the three consumer credit bureaus and put a fraud and identity theft alert on your name and Social Security Number.
- Continue to monitor your credit reports, credit card statements, and bank accounts for any suspicious activity.
With more than eleven months under our belts, the surge in Identity theft and fraudulent unemployment claims has risen to the top as the hot topic for pandemic impacts. Be sure to instruct your customers and anyone you know to report identity theft as soon as they have knowledge of it, and to get a recovery plan in action by following the steps above.