Imposter unemployment insurance claims are a national problem, according to payroll services company ADP. The FBI reports that criminal actors are impersonating victims and using stolen identities to submit fraudulent unemployment insurance claims online. The criminals use stolen personal identifying information, previous data breaches, email phishing schemes and a myriad of other ways to get information. Many of the targets are still employed and may be in higher-paying jobs. The FBI recently distributed a bulletin recommending the public be on the lookout for the following:
- Receiving communications regarding unemployment insurance forms when you didn’t apply for unemployment benefits
- Unauthorized transactions on your bank or credit card statements related to unemployment benefits
- Fees involved in filing or qualifying for unemployment insurance
- Unsolicited inquiries related to unemployment benefits
- Fictitious websites or social media pages mimicking those of government agencies.
They go on to say that if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft related to fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, report the fraud to law enforcement, state unemployment insurance agencies, the IRS, credit bureaus, and your employer’s human resources department. The FBI encourages victims to report fraudulent or any suspicious activities to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. You may consultwww.identitytheft.gov for help in reporting and recovering from identity theft. ADP also encourages you to put a freeze alert on your credit record with Equifax, TransUnion and Experian and contact your financial providers to flag irregular transactions.
Be vigilant with your identifying information and report anything suspicious.