HR Managers and Owners Try to Stop Fraudulent Unemployment Claims – and Fail

We are hearing reports from HR Managers and business owners that fraudulent unemployment claims are being filed in their names or in the names of their current employees.  They tell us that despite their reports of fraud to the state unemployment division, the claims persist.  In some cases, benefits are being erroneously paid.

If you receive a fraudulent unemployment claim, contest the claim as follows:

  • Complete a fraud prevention report on the state’s unemployment website. For employee-victims, we suggest providing the website URL and screenshots for how to begin.  Let them know the online form is quick and easy to fill out and that they may be asked for the circumstances leading to the report.  They can reply, “My social security number and salary data have been used to file a false claim.”
  • File an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission. Their site also provides an action plan for victims that involves checking credit reports and banks and notifying credit bureaus.  The site includes contact information for the credit bureaus and sample letters.
  • If your company receives a decision from the unemployment division awarding benefits on a fraudulent claim, appeal the decision and request a hearing. At the hearing, have the victim testify under oath that the claim is fraudulent.
  • Send a letter to the state’s unemployment division explaining the situation and asking for the case to be closed. We recommend employees send it in a way that can be tracked. The letter should include at least the following:

 

To: [STATE] Department of Labor and Employment, Unemployment Claims Division

Address

Re:  Unemployment Claim Fraud Report

Employer: [EMPLOYER NAME]; Account number [EMPLOYER UI ACCOUNT NUMBER]

Claimant: [EMPLOYEE NAME and SSN]

My name is [EMPLOYEE NAME]. My employer, [EMPLOYER NAME], received a Request for Job Separation Information filed under the name [FAKE NAME] with my social security number dated [DATE]. I have also received a letter at my home, addressed to [FAKE NAME]. This letter includes a PIN number to be used to get unemployment benefits.

I am writing this letter to inform the [STATE] Department of Labor that this is a fraudulent claim. I did not file for unemployment. I do not know anyone by the name of [FAKE NAME].

I also filed a fraud report using the electronic form on the [STATE] Department of Labor website.

Please close this claim immediately. If you need any other information, I can be reached at [EMPLOYEE PHONE NUMBER OR EMAIL].

Sign and Date

 

Many victims have told us that they learned of the fraud after receiving a debit card from the state unemployment division, the tool used to make unemployment payments.  If your company is receiving fraudulent claims, tell employees to watch their mail for such a debit card, and notify the company if it is received.  Employees should cancel the card and destroy it.

Here is an article that contains more information on the recent rise in unemployment fraud.  If you need more help, call us.