Please find below some steps to take if you think a fraudulent unemployment claim has been submitted under your name
Tax information related to Washington State Unemployment Fraud and what to do if you receive a 1099-G from the Employment Security Department.
See the latest information on Washington State Unemployment Fraud and what to do if you receive a letter for repayment (DOC).
Contact Human Resources
- Contact Human Resources to coordinate and report the incident. As we become aware of any potential fraudulent claims, we will reach out as well.
Contact Washington State Employment Security Department
- Contact Employment Security Department (ESD) to report the fraud. They are recommending you complete their Fraud Reporting Form
- You will need the following information for identity verification.
- Last 4 of your SSN
- Date of birth
- Current phone number
- Information on how you learned a claim was filed on your behalf
- Please let them know: If an impostor-fraud claim was filed using your information, do you give them permission to deny and cancel it?
- To create an account with ESD, visit their website and create an e-services account at https://secure.esd.wa.gov/home/. There is a registration button at the bottom of the page.
- Unemployment Fraud Poster
File a Police Report
- File a non-emergency report with the agency whose jurisdiction you live in. See information for Tacoma. To report with Tacoma Police Department, they recommend calling their non-emergency number at 253.798.4721. Depending on call load, it might be between 30 minutes and a few hours before you will be contacted by an on-duty policy officer.
- The City of Tacoma has shared an Identify Theft Handbook (PDF).
- Keep a file folder or journal with the information from this incident, including any case numbers.
Contact the Three Major Credit Bureaus
- Obtain your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at Annual Credit Report.
- Report to the credit bureaus that the fraudulent claim was made using your identity and provide them with the case number from your police report (if you have one). You can have a fraud alert put on your identity or freeze your credit. Doing either is free by law.
- A fraud alert is free. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus listed below. That company must tell the other two.
- Experian 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
- Equifax 1-800-525-6285
- Make sure to check your credit activity at least once a year. As a victim of identity-theft you have the right to check it monthly if you choose.
- Another option is to do a Credit Freeze if you do not have upcoming large purchases, such as a home. This may offer more protection, is free and you can do it yourself.
Federal Trade Commission & Internal Revenue Service
- File a short report with the FTC at https://www.identitytheft.gov/.
- Consider setting up an IRS account. If you create an account with your social-security number it will prevent criminals from creating an account using your identity.
- Another option is to lock your social-security number.
Keep Your Notes
Hang on to any notes, copies of emails, etc., as this will help provide you with a paper trail you can reference down the road.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides ID theft assistance. They have resources available on the site and provide legal services. Staff and faculty can receive one free 30-minute in-person consultation with a lawyer and additional meetings at a reduced fee.
How a Nigerian fraud ring targeted Washington state's unemployment system - Seattle Times, May 24, 2020
Washington Halts Unemployment Payments Due to Fraudulent Unemployment Claims - Seattle Times, May 14, 2020
Criminals Exploiting COVID-19 to Commit Unemployment Fraud - Tacoma Police Department, May 14, 2020
Credit reports are now free, every week - Federal Trade Commission, May 18, 2020