The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) announced on May 14, 2020, that unemployment fraud is on the rise, and Business Health Trust wants to make sure you have the proper resources if you become a victim.
If you have reason to believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits using your information or used a scam to obtain your private information, the ESD urges you to make a report at esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud.
Please be aware that you will need the following information:
- Your full name
- Last 4 numbers of your Social Security number (never put your full SSN in an email)
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- Brief description of how you found out an imposter-fraud claim was filed using your information
- Please let us know: If an imposter-fraud claim was filed using your information, do you give us permission to deny and cancel it?
Additional steps you can take if you believe you are a victim of fraud:
- Go to the FTC identity theft website: www.identitytheft.gov for resources on reporting
- Request your free credit reports via www.annualcreditreport.com and review them for other fraudulent activities
- Go to atg.wa.gov/recovering-identity-theft-or-fraud for additional tips from the Washington State Attorney General
To combat the increase in imposter fraud, ESD has hired more fraud investigators and will be focused on validating this week’s claims, leading to a potential hold on payments for an additional 1-2 days this week.
“We apologize for the hardship this may cause for valid claimants,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine in the news release.
Also on May 14, the ESD announced that state unemployment during the week of May 3-9 totaled 1.3 million, an increase of over 215,000 from the previous week.