And these are likely just the tip of the iceberg. Share Share Share. Historically, these “imposter claims” account for less than one percent of fraudulent activity regarding unemployment claims annually, said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development spokesperson Jake Loesch. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is warning residents about attempts by criminals to file imposter claims to try to receive benefits. How Severely will COVID-19 Impact SUI Tax Rates? Use our secure fraud reporting form to alert us to an imposter claiming benefits under your name. An imposter claim is a form of identity theft and is often the product of organized fraud ring activity. But what if you receive information claiming that one of your employees is the “imposter”? Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. In a large-scale scam erupting in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits, using the names and personal information of people who have not filed claims. Alert them to what you noticed and ask if they have any idea what’s going on. Please note, if you are an Equifax UCM client, we will assist you on those important items above. Check payroll records and other company records to determine if there have been other complaints or indications that the claim has validity. For example, Jane Doe works for ABC Company. Check the employee’s Form I-9 record. The expanded benefits available under the newly created federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has resulted in increased activity among criminals particularly those posing as self-employed workers or independent contractors to illegally obtain benefits. These claims represent about 1,700 individuals filing an initial claim. LANSING - The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is warning residents of attempts by criminals to file imposter claims in pursuit of benefits. Are you an Equifax client and have additional questions? People learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer about their supposed application for benefits. 3 Things Nonprofits Should Know About the CARES Act. Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.’s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. LANSING, MICH. The non-employee’s alarming claim may itself be false, mistaken, or part of a scam to get personal identifying information about one of your employees. It is important to make an individualized decision and proceed cautiously to avoid violating document abuse or discrimination restrictions or creating a potential discrimination claim by the employee. Unemployment Imposter Fraud The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) is committed to maintaining the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance Program. She is the victim of identity theft. A fraud claim would be if a claimant files his/her own claim, but fails to properly report earnings for a week in which they also collected benefits. If the scammer succeeds in obtaining unemployment payments, they are usually deposited to accounts the imposter controls. Fortunately, most imposter claims are stopped before they reach that point. May 27, 2020 / 3:08 PM / CBS/AP Unemployment scheme hits out-of-work Americans . Whenever an unemployment claim is filed, employers receive notice of the claim and are required to respond. OLYMPIA – Employment Security Department Commissioner, Suzi LeVine, released this statement regarding the rise in unemployment imposter fraud attempts: “Since the start of May – and particularly in the past week – the Employment Security Department has seen a significant rise in reports of imposter fraud. Even so, employers should not take any precipitous action adversely affecting the employee’s job. It is even possible that applicants denied unemployment could contact the employer of the imposter and thereby inform the employer of the fraud. SHARES. Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. Her personally identifiable information (PII), such as name and social security number, is used by “organized crime fraudsters” to file an unemployment claim and collect benefits against ABC Company. Copyright 2018 Equifax, Inc. All rights reserved Equifax and the Equifax marks used herein are trademarks of Equifax Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. “We’re worried someone will have filed an imposter claim and they will not be able to file for unemployment.” The money at stake is taxpayer money which goes towards unemployment dollars. However, Jane … Here is an FAQ and resources that we provide our Unemployment Cost Management clients should this happen to them. News, Insights, and Strategies for Employers from Jackson Lewis. … Imposter fraud can be discovered in several ways. COVID-19 payments are higher than regular unemployment payments and presents more of an incentive for imposter fraud – and states are experiencing more of it. The best path before discussing the accusation with the employee is to first check the employment records. The Form I-9 may have errors on it that create a reason to ask the employee to update the documentation, which can then be checked. Please note, these resources are for the impacted worker and not the employer. COVID-19 … In his current role as a Product Strategist, Dave is responsible for development and execution of the UCM product strategy and roadmap.[...]. These are known as impostor claims and unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see an increase in such activity following a tragedy (fire, hurricane) or downturn in the economy (Great Recession). Her personally identifiable information (PII), such as name and social security number, is used by “organized crime fraudsters” to file an unemployment claim and collect benefits against ABC Company. You don’t want to accuse them but try to gather more information. As issues and concerns around COVID-19 unfold daily, employers must prepare to address the threat as it relates to the health and safety of their workforce. Above all, unmatched tax and regulatory experts, coupled with intelligent dashboards, offers savings and protection for our clients. Applying for unemployment benefits is free. Scammers steal "hundreds of millions" using fake unemployment claims. Claimant-Employer Fraud Reporting document, https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf. The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) recently issued a national alert regarding an international criminal ring exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to commit large scale fraud against state unemployment programs. ESD will never ask for a payment to process your claim. An imposter claim is a form of identity theft and is often the product of organized fraud ring activity. June 30, 2020 by Elizabeth Cardenas, SWBC. When an individual files a claim for unemployment insurance, they will receive a written Monetary Determination letter. If your employee falls victim to an unemployment imposter claim, you want to protect your business as well as the employee. A record number of Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, and ‘imposter fraud’ is affecting tens of thousands of people, federal authorities say. They may pretend to … Imposter claims are filed using previously stolen or fraudulent personal information. Employers are increasingly receiving phone calls and letters from individuals claiming that an employee is working with fraudulent documentation. Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. What steps should I take if I receive a debit card or a UI Finding letter, and did not file for unemployment benefits? 10. With best-in-class technology solutions, we have set the standard for UCM across the industry. If your employer already has reported to us the fraudulent claim in your name, you don't need to report it again here. 2. But sometimes payments get sent to the real person’s account instead. Not a current client? Essentially, … If this happens to you, the scammers may call, text, or email to try to get you to send the money to them. Your Unemployment Insurance Consultant (UIC) can help. Jane Doe had no control over the claim being filed; someone else did it using her Personal Identifiable Information. Furthermore, the employee may not have intentionally provided incorrect information. They help to identify many of these imposter claims prior to being issued, thus protecting the integrity of the UI system at large. As unemployment soars, imposter scammers target benefits claims. Is a Change in State Unemployment Reporting Necessary Due to COVID-19? Our intuitive platform, CaseBuilder™, reduces risk and identifies overpayments, while also providing visual key insight that drives improved win rates. Cases of unemployment imposter fraud may appear on bank statements as “IRS TREAS 310 Tax Ref” or similar, and may appear with someone else’s name within the details. For example, they earned  $500 but he/she reports $0 earnings to the unemployment (UI) agency to receive an increased benefit amount. Encourage the victim to file an identity theft report with his/her local police department and advise them of the option to file Form 14039 with the IRS: Employer must protest/appeal the benefit charges, Employer must request and seek credit for improper charges, Payments of unemployment benefits went out, The state treasury may be notified of benefits for state income tax purposes, The IRS may be notified of benefits for federal income tax purposes, The employee should follow the steps listed in the above Employee Tool Kit (file police reports, lock credit reports). Alternatively, employers may receive notices of claims for employees who have not been laid off. COVID-19 payments are higher than regular unemployment payments and presents more of an incentive for imposter fraud – and states are experiencing more of it. What should employers do if they become aware that an employee is a victim of imposter fraud? Thus, only the affected employee will know the answers to the questions purposed from these tools. “I just wanted proof that I was not the person who filed the unemployment claim,” said Weathers. If the List A, B, or C documentation has been copied, legal counsel can assist you in examining the authenticity of the documentation. Ultimately, the decision about how to proceed will be based on all the specific facts and circumstances regarding the employee and your company’s history regarding employment verification issues. Oklahoma has seen a steep rise. Rhode Island has reported 2,000 such claims. For example, the New York Times article, published in July 2020, speaks of a victim who was unable to file a legitimate unemployment claim because an imposter “had filed in her name nearly six years ago. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today warned residents of attempts by criminals to file imposter claims in pursuit of benefits.The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) recently issued a national alert regarding an international criminal ring exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to commit largescale fraud against state unemployment programs. When an employer responds to the claim and says that the employee is still employed, the state then receives that information and pauses the claim to investigate. An imposter claim means you’re possibly overpaying, but it also means your employee has had his or her identity stolen. What is identity theft? If you receive this letter (Form UIA 1575C) and you have not applied for unemployment benefits, or the name on the form is not yours, you may be a victim of identity theft. Use only ESD’s official website:esd.wa.gov. The persistent problem of undocumented workers presenting plausible (but ultimately fraudulent) employment verification documents to employers has taken a new twist in the COVID-19 pandemic: a rise in imposter claims for unemployment insurance. AUGUSTA - For the week ending August 1, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,600 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 470 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). COVID-19 payments are higher than regular unemployment payments and presents more of an incentive for imposter fraud – and states are experiencing more of it. He previously served as the Mortgage Solution Specialist on the Equifax Verification Services technology team and has served throughout Unemployment and Verifications Operations and Product Management at Equifax. Report unemployment fraud. Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to help you determine the best course of action. The expanded benefits available under the newly created federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has resulted in increased activity among criminals particularly those posing as self-employed workers or independent contractors to illegally obtain benefits. Individuals might also be denied unemployment benefits because the state agency’s system sees that someone else is still working and being paid under that same Social Security number. Additionally, some of those efforts include detection of potentially fraudulent IP addresses, suspicious bank accounts, debit card requests, employer addresses, claimant addresses, and more. Below is a good starting point of four helpful actions to share with your employees to assist them with this issue. These fraud rings take advantage of the surge in unemployment activity following such events. Be wary of solicitors asking for your personal information online or by phone. For example, Jane Doe works for ABC Company. A fraud claim is different from an imposter claim. Employers across the country are receiving claims for individuals who are still employed and did not file a UI claim. In this example, the claimant had control over his/her own actions whereas in the case of an imposter claim, the victim had no control over that activity. 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COVID-19 Highlights Needs for States to Modernize Unemployment Systems. Last updated: November 19, 2020 Unemployment claims filed during this record surge are expected to have a negative impact on […], How federal funding is helping nonprofits with unemployment costs during the COVID-19 pandemic Heading into 2020, nonprofits in the United […], Millions of employees across the United States are working from home to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Another red flag is receiving mail indicating confirmation of your unemployment filing when you have not actually filed for unemployment. Sometimes, such […], States can Tap into $1 Billion in Federal Funding to Upgrade Technology and Data Use Unemployment persists even as many […], Dave Caldwell is the Strategic Product Manager for our Unemployment Cost Management product line. However, to ensure its efficacy, these detection tools are proprietary and confidential. Register for a demo to learn how Equifax can help your organization. Claims for Unemployment Compensation, Week Ending August 1. Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that state identify theft laws. ESD will ask you for information through official correspondence and through your ESD. What is an Imposter Claim? Individuals who need to apply for unemployment find out that they cannot do so because someone else is already collecting under their Social Security number. Keep up to date with the latest available information and resources here. In good news, State UI agencies do have safety nets in place. Inspector General’s office is investigating a possible multi-state unemployment insurance (UI) benefit fraud scheme, which includes FL, KS, MA, NM, NV, NY, and TX. However, Jane Doe still works for ABC Company and didn’t file the claim. Employers across the state are being warned by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency this week that we are one of several states "experiencing increased activity in imposter claims being filed for unemployment." Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. For security purposes the employer will not, and should not, know such information. About 53,100 weekly … Goldman soon realized he was a victim of unemployment fraud, in which an impostor filed a claim to attempt to receive benefits using his personal information. Imposter Unemployment Insurance Claims Point to a Benefit Fraud Scheme By Dawn Steinbruegge News services and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) have recently reported that the U.S. Here are ways you can protect yourself against identity theft and imposter fraud. Imposter claims are filed using previously stolen or fraudulent personal information. 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