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Protect Yourself From Unemployment Fraud

Fraudulent unemployment claims are on the rise in the wake of COVID-19. Identity thieves are taking advantage of the high volume of legitimate claims and already overwhelmed labor departments by using stolen identity information. Victims of unemployment fraud may not find out they have fallen victim until they file a legitimate claim, while others may receive a notice in the mail or be notified by their employer. Due to this unfortunate situation, it is especially important to keep an eye on your mail and your credit to monitor for any fraudulent activity.

Over 45,000 fraudulent unemployment claims have been blocked in the state of Kansas so far in 2020, but the true number of fraudulent claims is still unknown. To provide some perspective, the largest number previously was seven fraudulent unemployment claims in 2013, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

If You Fall Victim To Unemployment Fraud

  • Tell your employer, whether current or previous.
  • Report the fraud to your state's unemployment office. In Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Labor website at www.dol.ks.gov/fraud.
  • Notify major credit reporting bureaus and request a "fraud alert" on your credit report.
  • Contact your banks and credit card companies. They can advise you on steps to take.
  • Keep records. Be sure to keep copies of any documents received, forms submitted, and document any calls you may have by keeping a record of who you spoke with and when.
  • Monitor account activity and reach out to individual entities if there is any fraudulent activity.

Additional Steps To Take

  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 269-0271 to order a copy of your Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) to review the accuracy of your work history with the SSA.
  • Notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fraud hotline at (800) 908-4490. You may request a copy of your Wage and Income Transcript to review for any fraudulent earnings.
  • File a police report with your local police department.
  • Update passwords for any online accounts that may contain personal information.

Resources from the State of Kansas

Want to learn more about protecting yourself online? View our collection of online security resources.

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