Seizing upon overwhelmed state unemployment agencies, identity thieves have been aggressively filing fraudulent unemployment benefit claims throughout the United States. The victims have typically learned about the claim either when their employer was contacted by the agency to verify their prior employment or upon receiving a letter from the unemployment agency.
In addition to the general discomfort of having their identity stolen and knowing that their personal information is available to criminals for future use, victims must also be concerned with the unemployment agency seeking repayment and the Internal Revenue Service asserting that they have taxable income.
If you have learned that someone has stolen your identity and filed a false unemployment benefit claim with your personal information, here are nine steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Notify your resident state's unemployment agency that someone else has filed the fraudulent unemployment claim.
- In Massachusetts, this can be accomplished by completing a Fraud Reporting Form on the Department of Unemployment Assistance's website. Alternatively, you can call the DUA at (877) 626-6800.
- In California, fill out the Fraud Reporting Form on the Employment Development Division’s website. Alternatively, you can fax 1-866-340-5484 or call the EDD Fraud Hotline at 1-800-229-6297.
- In Virginia, complete the Fraud/Theft/Overpayment form or call 1-800-782-4001. The Virginia Employment Commission’s website can be found here.
If you have any additional questions, please contact your GW & Wade Counselor or contact us here.
Contact information for the three major, national credit reporting agencies is provided below.
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The information above is general and educational in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. Information is as of the date of publication. GW & Wade cannot guarantee that this information is accurate, complete, or timely. We make no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.
Clients of the firm who have specific questions should contact the GW & Wade Counselor with whom they regularly work. All other inquiries, including any inquiry concerning a potential advisory relationship with GW & Wade, should be directed to:
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GW & Wade, LLC