Beware of a new scam involving unemployment. BPD has received 16 reports in recent weeks of scammers fraudulently opening unemployment claims under victim's names and taking the benefits.
Claimants should never:
- Post screenshots of their claim or their claim status on social media;
- Provide their Social Security number or unemployment benefit claim number to people on social media who offer to help resolve their issues;
- Agree to pay a private firm or individual to file for unemployment insurance benefits on their behalf (the department does not charge a fee for filing a claim); or
- File a claim in a crowded setting where someone shoulder surf and steal their data by looking over their shoulders.
How do you know if you are a victim of this fraud?
- You receive information in the mail from the Dept of Labor about an unemployment claim you did not file.
- Your employer receives notice of an unemployment claim filed in your name.
If you are the victim of this fraud, another concern is that your social security number and possibly other personal information has likely been compromised, which means you need to act immediately to report and secure your finances. All unemployment fraud also needs to be reported since unemployment benefits are taxable income.
What you need to do:
1) Contact your employer about the fraudulent claim (they will likely receive something from the Dept of Labor if they have not already).
2) Contact the Idaho Department of Labor (use their fraud reporting instructions, call (877) 540-8638 or email Fraud@labor.idaho.gov).
3) File a police report, by calling non-emergency dispatch, 208-377-6790 or by filing on-line.
4) File an identity theft complaint with the FTC (www.FTC.gov).
5) Report the activity to the credit bureaus - place a fraud alert or freeze your credit (Experian, Equifax, Transunion).
6) Run your credit report to look for fraudulent activity (www.annualcreditreport.com).