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Fraud Reminders – CT, OH, & OR + NV 2024 Taxable Wage Base Updated

FRAUD REMINDER – Connecticut and Oregon
The Connecticut Department of Labor recently shared that their offices have been flooded with fraudulent unemployment claims and Thomas & Company has noticed a rise in fraud cases as well. Estimates are that 75% of the claim requests CTDOL receive daily are fraudulent. While we do not know the exact impact, the recent data breach at the Oregon Department of Transportation, is creating an influx of identity theft claims from Oregon.

It is important for both employers and employees to remain vigilant for identity theft claims. Employers who receive a request for separation information for employees who are still active and working should be reminded that these claims represent potential identity theft. Reach out to your employees to confirm that they did not file for benefits. In some cases, the employee may be working a second job which could be the reason they are filing for benefits. They likely will not qualify for unemployment as they are working, and their earnings may disqualify them. You should also remind employees that state agencies will not reach out via text message, nor will they charge a fee to process unemployment benefits.

NEVADA – Taxable Wage Base for 2024 to Increase
The taxable wage base for Nevada will increase on January 1, 2024 to $40,600. This is an increase of $500 per employee over the 2023 taxable wage base of $40,100.

OHIO – Security Flaw Corrected in ODJFS System
Over the past few weeks, Ohio had noticed an increase in fraudulent activity. Last week, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Matt Damschroder announced that a security flaw was discovered that allowed fraudsters to gain access to sensitive information within the state’s UI system. While the ODJFS IT team was able to correct the flaw in the system, it is estimated that almost $190,000 in fraudulent claims were paid out before it was resolved.

In a statement, ODJFS advised, “The root cause of the system vulnerability was determined to be a code flaw in the Ohio Job Insurance (OJI) system, specifically the linking of identity and authentication functionality between OJI and the state’s OH|ID single sign-on system. As a precaution, ODJFS locked more than 28,000 accounts with suspicious activity. When an account is locked, the legitimate user cannot access their unemployment account and payments on the accounts are suspended.”

This is yet another reminder to be vigilant when you receive a claim for benefits. If the claimant is still working, even if it is reduced hours, or you receive a claim for someone who never worked for you, it is possible that this could be an identity theft claim. Please report these claims to Thomas & Company so that we can communicate this to the state agency as a potential identity theft claim. We will also track and monitor activity on these claims to ensure that fraudulent charges are not assessed to your account.

Michele Heckmann

Author Michele Heckmann

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