As job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic continued to mount across the country, unemployment claims increased as well. Unfortunately, fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits also rose and continue to impact US workers.
Talent & Inclusion (T&I) has heard from a number of employees about possible unemployment fraud, and it’s important to be aware of the potential and to know what to do if it happens to you. (These fraudulent actions are no indication that WPI’s data has been breached.)
Here are some things to watch for:
- A letter indicating that your unemployment claim has been approved or rejected, or asking questions about your application
- An unemployment insurance debit card
- Phone calls, texts, emails, or letters asking for your Social Security number or credit information
- Emails asking you to verify information by clicking on links within the email
- Communication marked “urgent” and asking you to provide information such as a username, password, or personal information
If WPI is notified of a newly filed unemployment claim that appears to be fraudulent, T&I will follow a specific protocol.
- Reach out to the employee and verify that they did not file an unemployment claim.
- Inform the employee that a fraudulent claim has been filed in their name and advise them that WPI will deny the claim.
- Provide additional guidance on the next steps needed to address the fraudulent claim.
What to do if you suspect fraud:
Report the fraud or suspected fraud to your state’s office (below) and follow their guidelines about reporting the fraud to your financial institutions and local mail office. You may choose to order a credit report to look for any unauthorized activity and to put a credit freeze on any accounts.
- Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance
- Connecticut Department of Labor
- Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
- Maine Department of Labor
- Vermont Department of Labor
- New Hampshire Employment Security