Protect yourself against fraudulent unemployment claims
With the rise in claims associated with Covid-19, institutions across the nation have experienced an uptick in fraud and identity theft.
January 12, 2021
With the rise in unemployment-insurance claims associated with Covid-19, institutions across the nation have experienced a rise in fraudulent claims and other instances of fraud or identity theft. As many as 400,000 Coloradans have been affected thus far, including several hundred State of Colorado employees. There is no evidence this is the result of any state action but rather a series of breaches involving private companies over the past several years.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is monitoring the situation and working closely with the Department of Personnel and Administration to notify victims that their identities have been compromised.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of a fraudulent unemployment claim, please call the Metropolitan State University of Denver Human Resources department at 303-615-0999. Staff members will provide information on next steps:
1. Submit a fraud report to the Colorado Department of Labor.
2. Affected employees will need to contact the three credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on their name and Social Security number at no cost.
Employees will also need to get a free copy of their credit report from each bureau to review it. If an employee uncovers any fraudulent information or activity on their credit report, the employee will need to dispute it directly with the credit bureau(s). Also, if you see an inquiry from another Department of Labor in another state, there is a good chance a fraudulent claim was made in that state as well.
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
Due to increased fraud and identity theft during the Covid-19 pandemic, each of the bureaus is offering free weekly credit reports via annualcreditreport.com.
Note: These are automated systems, and callers will have to enter personal information. Callers should hear a prompt to add a fraud alert and receive a copy of their credit report.
3. Employees are also encouraged to file a report with their local police department saying they have been a victim of identity theft and that a fraudulent unemployment-insurance claim was filed in their name.
As the victim, the employee has the right to file a “counter report.” It does not mean the police department will investigate the matter, but law enforcement should take a report so the employee can have it for their records.
Employees can also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov. The FTC’s website includes valuable resources about how to recover from identity theft and protect your identity.
Lastly, create a file where you can keep any records relating to this identity theft in one central place, in case you are notified of other fraud or breaches of your personal information.
If you have any questions about unemployment benefits, please refer to HR's unemployment FAQs.
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