How to Report Fraudulent Unemployment Claims
With unemployment on the rise due to the pandemic, so are fraudulent claims for benefits. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), criminals are filing benefits claims using names and personal information, such as date of birth and Social Security number, of people who haven’t lost their jobs.
If you are affected by this scam, you may first learn about it when you receive a notice from your state unemployment benefits office or employer about your supposed application for benefits. By then, however, the benefits usually have been paid to an account the criminals control.
While Mariner Wealth Advisors’ data has not been compromised, here are steps recommended by the FTC that you can take if you are a victim of this type of identity theft.
Q: What do I do if a false Social Security claim has been filed in my name?
A: If you are a member of an ID Theft protection plan, report the fraud to your provider right away by calling their support line, and they will assist you with next steps. If you are not a member of a plan, report your identity theft to the FTC at: IdentityTheft.gov to receive a recovery plan. The FTC will guide you through placing a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit, how to get your free credit reports, how to close fraudulent accounts opened in your name, adding a free extended fraud alert or credit freeze to your credit report, and more. IdentityTheft.gov also will produce an FTC Identity Theft Report that you can use to clear fraudulent information from your credit reports.
Q: Should I alert the credit bureaus?
A: Yes. First, check your credit reports with each of the three main bureaus and place a fraud alert on each. You can also freeze your credit with each of the three major credit bureaus. This only prevents a thief from opening a new account in your name but doesn’t prevent changes being made to existing accounts. Keep in mind, if you freeze your credit reports, you will need to unfreeze them if you are seeking a loan on a car or home, for example. According to the FTC, if you make the request by phone, credit bureaus must lift the freeze within one hour of the request, and if by mail, then within three days of being notified.
Experian.com/help: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
Q: Who else needs to know about a fraudulent claim?
A: Consider reporting the fraud to your employer’s human resources and payroll departments and let them know an unemployment claim has been made in your name. Payroll should be able to assist you by reporting it to your state’s unemployment agency. Or, you can report the fraud to your state unemployment agency. In some cases, your state may want to get a fraud report from both you and your employer.
Locate your state’s agency at:
https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/UnemploymentBenefits/Find-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx?newsearch=true. Report fraud using an online form if possible to expedite your reporting. Keep any confirmation or case numbers you receive, as well as document who you spoke to at the state agency (if anyone) and when for your records and also your employer should share any documentation they receive with you.
Q: What if I receive unemployment funds I didn’t apply for?
A: If you do receive funds you did not apply for, report it to the state agency that issued the funds and ask for instructions. Keep in mind, no state agency will ever ask you to wire, send cash, or put money on gift cards as a way of repayment.
“Unemployment benefits fraud puts workers at risk of more ID theft,” https://bit.ly/2T0xqk3
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