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. 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. 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. News, Insights, and Strategies for Employers from Jackson Lewis. If the List A, B, or C documentation has been copied, legal counsel can assist you in examining the authenticity of the documentation. 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. Applying for unemployment benefits is free. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients’ goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee. 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. Check payroll records and other company records to determine if there have been other complaints or indications that the claim has validity. Here is an FAQ and resources that we provide our Unemployment Cost Management clients should this happen to them. Please note, these resources are for the impacted worker and not the employer. May 27, 2020 / 3:08 PM / CBS/AP Unemployment scheme hits out-of-work Americans . Use only ESD’s official website:esd.wa.gov. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is warning residents about attempts by criminals to file imposter claims to try to receive benefits. June 30, 2020 by Elizabeth Cardenas, SWBC. Essentially, … What is an Imposter Claim? For example, Jane Doe works for ABC Company. “I just wanted proof that I was not the person who filed the unemployment claim,” said Weathers. Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. If this happens to you, the scammers may call, text, or email to try to get you to send the money to them. 2. Register for a demo to learn how Equifax can help your organization. Above all, unmatched tax and regulatory experts, coupled with intelligent dashboards, offers savings and protection for our clients. She is the victim of identity theft. Report unemployment fraud. The best path before discussing the accusation with the employee is to first check the employment records. 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. Not a current client? Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. About 53,100 weekly … 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. Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that state identify theft laws. Rhode Island has reported 2,000 such claims. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. If your employee falls victim to an unemployment imposter claim, you want to protect your business as well as the employee. 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. (WAFB) - Federal officials warned of a “large-scale” scam in which imposters steal personal information to file fraudulent applications for state unemployment … 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. Is a Change in State Unemployment Reporting Necessary Due to COVID-19? Another red flag is receiving mail indicating confirmation of your unemployment filing when you have not actually filed for unemployment. They help to identify many of these imposter claims prior to being issued, thus protecting the integrity of the UI system at large. An imposter claim is a form of identity theft and is often the product of organized fraud ring activity. Claimant-Employer Fraud Reporting document, https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf. 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. 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. These fraud rings take advantage of the surge in unemployment activity following such events. A record number of Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, and ‘imposter fraud’ is affecting tens of thousands of people, federal authorities say. 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ESD will never ask for a payment to process your claim. In his current role as a Product Strategist, Dave is responsible for development and execution of the UCM product strategy and roadmap.[...]. What is identity theft? LANSING - The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is warning residents of attempts by criminals to file imposter claims in pursuit of benefits. You don’t want to accuse them but try to gather more information. Our intuitive platform, CaseBuilder™, reduces risk and identifies overpayments, while also providing visual key insight that drives improved win rates. But what if you receive information claiming that one of your employees is the “imposter”? 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). 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. 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. For example, they earned  $500 but he/she reports $0 earnings to the unemployment (UI) agency to receive an increased benefit amount. Thus, only the affected employee will know the answers to the questions purposed from these tools. 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. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency(UIA) is warning consumers about attempts made by criminals to file imposter claims in order to obtain unemployment benefits. Imposter claims are filed using previously stolen or fraudulent personal information. When an individual files a claim for unemployment insurance, they will receive a written Monetary Determination letter. Whenever an unemployment claim is filed, employers receive notice of the claim and are required to respond. Unemployment Imposter Fraud The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) is committed to maintaining the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance Program. Use our secure fraud reporting form to alert us to an imposter claiming benefits under your name. For example, Jane Doe works for ABC Company. However, Jane Doe still works for ABC Company and didn’t file the claim. Here are ways you can protect yourself against identity theft and imposter fraud. 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. But sometimes payments get sent to the real person’s account instead. 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. Furthermore, the employee may not have intentionally provided incorrect information. Are you an Equifax client and have additional questions? 3 Things Nonprofits Should Know About the CARES Act. Scammers steal "hundreds of millions" using fake unemployment claims. COVID-19 Highlights Needs for States to Modernize Unemployment Systems. Additionally, some of those efforts include detection of potentially fraudulent IP addresses, suspicious bank accounts, debit card requests, employer addresses, claimant addresses, and more. 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. Please note, if you are an Equifax UCM client, we will assist you on those important items above. 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. 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). 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. Claims for Unemployment Compensation, Week Ending August 1. 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. They may pretend to … Check the employee’s Form I-9 record. Alternatively, employers may receive notices of claims for employees who have not been laid off. COVID-19 … 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. If the scammer succeeds in obtaining unemployment payments, they are usually deposited to accounts the imposter controls. 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. Be wary of solicitors asking for your personal information online or by phone. 10. An imposter claim means you’re possibly overpaying, but it also means your employee has had his or her identity stolen. However, to ensure its efficacy, these detection tools are proprietary and confidential. These claims represent about 1,700 individuals filing an initial 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." Below is a good starting point of four helpful actions to share with your employees to assist them with this issue. SHARES. 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. Share Share Share. For security purposes the employer will not, and should not, know such information. What should employers do if they become aware that an employee is a victim of imposter fraud? Even so, employers should not take any precipitous action adversely affecting the employee’s job. 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. What steps should I take if I receive a debit card or a UI Finding letter, and did not file for unemployment benefits? 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. Keep up to date with the latest available information and resources here. Imposter fraud can be discovered in several ways. Alert them to what you noticed and ask if they have any idea what’s going on. 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. Imposter claims are a type of identity theft; someone uses someone else’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, to collect unemployment compensation. 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