COVID-19 & Identity Theft (II)

By April 11, 2020COVID-19

Earlier this week, we issued a bulletin about potential identity theft. In conjunction with that bulletin, we would like to add more information about potential identity theft so that your associates can be as informed as possible during this confusing time.

Unfortunately, there may be attempts to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic and to retrieve associates’ personal information. Many of associates currently filing for benefits are first-time filers and many states’ security teams advise that hackers are taking full advantage of the urgency people feel around COVID-19. As a result, all unemployed associates should proceed with caution when providing personal information over the internet.

States across the nation reported examples of unemployment fraud activity including, but not limited, to the following:

  • Fake websites that offer help to associates needing help filing for benefits. Reportedly, these sites request confidential/private information including social security numbers, street addresses, work histories, and email addresses. States request that personal information such as this never be entered into any websites such as these.
  • Some websites have also attempted to charge a fee in exchange for help filing benefits. States do not charge a fee for filing for benefits.
  • Moreover, some websites ask associates to upload a copy of their driver’s license, birth certificate, and other personally identifiable information to a non-government website. States will never request that an associate upload scanned copies of these documents into their systems.
  • Finally, data thieves ask associates to verify their identity by providing personally identifiable information within 24 hours. Once associates file for benefits, states will mail them a letter outlining their eligibility status. If they qualify, associates will then receive a monetary determination of benefits.
  • If associates apply for benefits online, or are in need of assistance, associates should only use their specified state’s .gov website.

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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