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Labor Dept. guidance addresses steep climb in unemployment fraud

New IdentityTheft Scam

U.S. Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, DC –The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration today announced the issuance of an Unemployment Insurance Program Letter that provides new guidance to states on identity verification for unemployment insurance claims.

The guidance follows unprecedented increases
in UI claims amid the pandemic and related surges in fraudulent filings
in states’ systems by sophisticated criminal rings using stolen or
“synthetic” identities – false identities composed of real and fake
information. It provides states with guidance about adjudication
standards to apply when determining UI eligibility in cases where an
individual’s identity appears questionable.

This guidance will help states find and stop payments on
claims based on stolen or fake identities and help unemployed workers
who have been falsely flagged as possibly fraudulent. The guidance also
explains what states can do to protect those victims who may have had
their identities previously stolen and then used by criminals to apply
for unemployment insurance benefits.

“Criminals using false and stolen identities to
file for benefits cause widespread problems – both for the people who
unknowingly had claims filed in their name and for legitimately
unemployed Americans – is a growing problem for many state unemployment
insurance programs,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Employment and Training Suzi LeVine. “The U.S. Department of Labor
issued this guidance to help states fight this problem in their
unemployment insurance programs and make sure American workers receive
the benefits to which they are rightly entitled.”

In addition to its guidance to states to prevent UI fraud, the department recently launched a website to assist people who are victims of UI identity theft. The website enables individuals to report ID theft and to find helpful information if their identities have been stolen.

The unemployment insurance program is a
federal-state partnership, with states responsible for accepting,
processing, and paying claims. Please direct all eligibility questions to state employment agencies.

Source: on 2021-04-14 10:48:45

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