It is not a secret that the number of unemployed workers has spiked over the last several months, and with that the number of unemployment claims is on the rise. Rising too are the numbers of fraudulent unemployment claims being filed. A fraudulent claim happens when a person files for unemployment with someone else’s name and social security number with the goal of claiming unemployment payments in that other person’s name.
Unfortunately, once a fraudulent claim is discovered, it’s impossible to tell where the stolen information came from. The best defense against this identity theft is prevention:
Never give personal information to a stranger on the phone or via email. Government agencies (i.e.: the IRS, FBI, Social Security Administration) will never call or send an email asking for your social security number or birth date.
Use complex passwords, do not use the same passwords for all services and change your passwords regularly.
Do not use shared computers or public wi-fi networks to transmit personal information such as social security numbers or birthdates.
What is Human Resources (HR) doing?
If the Employment Team in Human Resources receives a claim that appears “suspicious” (the claimant is currently actively employed), a member of the team will reach out to that employee to confirm the claim. If the claim is legitimate (maybe because a schedule was drastically reduced, or because of lost wages from other employment), the Employment Team will process the claim as normal. If the claim is confirmed to be fraudulent (the listed claimant didn’t file a claim), the Employment Team will alert our UI partner, Equifax, of the fraudulent claim, and advise the employee of next steps.
What will Equifax do?
Equifax helps the Employment Team manage unemployment claims by compiling, storing, and transmitting data to appropriate state agencies. When Equifax is alerted to a fraudulent unemployment claim, they will alert the Nebraska Department of Labor’s Unemployment Division, so the claim can be rejected.
What should I do?
If you receive a 1099-G (tax information regarding “unearned” income) that you believe you should not have received, or if you receive a notice of benefits granted or monies that you did not apply for from the Department of Labor Unemployment Division, contact the Nebraska Department of Labor right away (1-855-995-8863). Alert UNO Human Resources at email@example.com, so the Employment Team can watch for a claim.
If the Employment Team contacts you regarding unemployment claims, respond right away.
If a fraudulent claim has been filed in your name, you should:
File a police report
Place a freeze alert on your credit record with all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion)
Order a free credit report online from a reputable source
Contact your financial institutions (bank, credit card companies, etc.) to flag irregular transactions
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.