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Unemployment Identity Fraud is on the Rise

Unemployment identity fraud happens when criminals use other people’s information to illegally receive unemployment benefits – and it’s increasingly common. Sometimes criminals use stolen personal information to illegally log into a person’s unemployment account and steal the unemployment benefit payments intended for the real claimant. This is known as “Claim Hijacking” or “Claim/Account Takeover.”

Many people who experience unemployment identity fraud only find out when they get something in the mail, like a notice from a state unemployment agency or a state-issued 1099-G tax form reporting unemployment benefits that they never requested or received. People filing for unemployment may become aware of “Claim Hijacking” or “Claim/Account Takeover” when they unexpectedly stop receiving unemployment benefit payments and notice that the bank account or address information on their unemployment claim was changed without their knowledge.

Warning Signs of Unemployment Identity Fraud

Here are some signs that you may be a victim of unemployment identity fraud:

  • A government agency sends you mail about an unemployment claim or payment and you did not recently file for unemployment benefits. This could include receiving requests to verify your identity for unemployment benefits, receiving letters notifying you of an unemployment claim filed in your name, or receiving unexpected payments or debit cards. The mail could be from any state even if you never lived or worked there.
  • You receive a 1099-G tax form reflecting unemployment benefits you weren't expecting and did not receive. This link provides a sample 1099-G from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website: IRS form Certain Government Payments 1099-G. Box 1 may show unemployment benefits you did not receive (or more benefits than you received). Or the 1099-G may be from a state where you haven’t lived, worked, or filed for benefits.
  • While you are still employed, you receive a notice from your employer indicating that they received a request for information about an unemployment claim in your name.
  • While you are receiving unemployment, you learn your payments were sent somewhere else although you did not authorize a change to your unemployment account. “Claim Hijacking” or “Claim/Account Takeover” occurs when someone illegally accesses your unemployment account and redirects your benefits to a different bank account or address.

Reporting Unemployment Identity Fraud

*Note: This information is specifically for unemployment identity fraud. Report other types of unemployment fraud, including claimant eligibility fraud or employer fraud, at our Report Unemployment Fraud page.

  1. Report unemployment identity fraud to the state where it occurred. Find contact information for the state unemployment agency here.
    • You may not receive an immediate confirmation from the state when you submit a report. Time estimates for this process vary by state.
    • Each state has different requirements and processes for investigating identity fraud. Some may require additional documentation (like filing a police report or a sworn affidavit) to open an investigation. When you report unemployment identity fraud to the state, make sure to follow all instructions provided by the state.
    • If you received a 1099-G tax form for unemployment benefits you didn’t receive, the state will issue you a corrected 1099-G and will update the tax record with the IRS on your behalf.
  2. When you file your income taxes, ONLY include income you actually received.
    • Do not wait to receive a corrected 1099-G to file your taxes.
    • Do not wait for the state’s investigation to conclude before filing your taxes.
    • Do not report the incorrect 1099-G income on your tax return.
    • If you already filed your taxes, do not file an amended return. The IRS will issue additional guidance regarding your next steps. Find updates and additional tax filing information from the IRS here.
  3. Check your credit report for suspicious activity or unauthorized lines of credit opened. By law, you can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Also, through December 2022, you can get a free credit report each week from each of the credit bureaus. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 877-322-8228 to get your free reports. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity. You can also visit Free Credit Reports on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to learn more about credit reports.
    • Consider freezing your credit. It’s the best way you can protect against having new accounts opened in your name. Learn more about credit freezes and fraud alerts on the FTC website here.
  4. Report unemployment identity fraud that occurred after March 2020 to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud. The National Center for Disaster Fraud will notify the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, which is the primary agency responsible for investigating unemployment fraud. Your report can help protect others from fraud.

    *Note: You must still report the unemployment identity fraud to the state unemployment agency.

State Directory for Reporting Unemployment Identity Fraud

The U.S. Department of Labor has verified all links and contact information on this page. NEVER send personal information or documents to unverified sites or in response to requests from social media, email, or text messages. NEVER click on links from an unknown sender or from anyone claiming to be a state unemployment agency. Instead, go to the official state unemployment website which you can find here.

*Note: When you visit a state’s unemployment website you may see that some states refer to their unemployment program as “unemployment insurance”, “unemployment compensation”, or "reemployment assistance" and some states may use the term "imposter fraud” or “identity theft” instead of the term “identity fraud.”

For technical issues with this website, accessibility problems, or to report non-working phone numbers or broken website links in the State Directory, please email: ETAfeedback@dol.gov.

State Directory
State Online Reporting Phone Number
Alabama Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-392-8019
Alaska uifraud@alaska.gov 1-877-272-4635
Arizona Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-251-2436
Arkansas Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 501-682-1058
California Report Unemployment Identity Fraud
Report 1099-G Identity Fraud
Identity Fraud: 1-800-229-6297
1099-G Identity Fraud: 1-866-401-2849
Colorado Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 303-318-9035
Connecticut Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-894-3490
Delaware BPC_FRAUD_UNIT@delaware.gov 302-761-8397
District of Columbia BPC.UM@dc.gov 1-877-372-8360
Florida Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-833-352-7759
Georgia Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 404-232-3440
Hawaii Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-833-901-2272 (Toll Free)
1-833-901-2275 (Toll Free)
808-762-5751 (Local)
808-762-5752 (Local)
Idaho Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-877-540-8638
Illinois Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-814-0513
Indiana Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-891-6499
Iowa Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-866-239-0843
Kansas Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 785-291-6059
Kentucky Report Unemployment Identity Fraud  
Louisiana Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-201-3362
Maine Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 207-621-5154
Maryland Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-492-6804
Massachusetts Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-877-626-6800
Michigan Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-866-500-0017
Minnesota Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 651-296-8715
Mississippi safe@mdes.ms.gov 601-493-9427
Missouri Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 573-751-4058, Option 5
Montana Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-888-556-4677
Nebraska Report Unemployment Identity Fraud  
Nevada Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 775-684-0475
New Hampshire Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-852-3400 ext. 84016
New Jersey Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 609-777-4304
New Mexico id.verify@state.nm.us 1-877-664-6984
New York Report Unemployment Identity Fraud  
North Carolina Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 984-465-9224
North Dakota   701-328-1680
Ohio Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-833-658-0394
Oklahoma Report Unemployment Identity Fraud Identity Fraud: 405-525-1500
1099-G Identity Fraud: 405-521-6099
Oregon Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-877-668-3204
Pennsylvania Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-692-7469
Puerto Rico Report Unemployment Identity Fraud  
Rhode Island Report Unemployment Identity Fraud  
South Carolina Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-866-831-1724
South Dakota RAFraud@state.sd.us 605-626-7649
Tennessee bpc.investigations@tn.gov 615-645-3893
Texas Report Unemployment Identity Fraud
Report Unemployment Identity Fraud — Spanish
1-800-252-3642
Utah Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-888-848-0688
Vermont Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 802-828-4104
Virginia Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-782-4001
Virgin Islands   1-340-715-5711
Washington Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-246-9763
West Virginia reportunemploymentfraud@wv.gov 304-433-8790
1-800-252-JOBS, Option 5
Wisconsin Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 1-800-909-9472
Wyoming Report Unemployment Identity Fraud 307-235-3658