What to do if you are victim of unemployment fraud
Last year, many employees were victims of unemployment fraud, which has resulted in some employees receiving 1099-G forms showing reported income from Washington State Employment Security Department. If you have received a 1099-G from the State of Washington and already reported the fraud, please follow the instructions provided at ESDWAGOV – Tax info for fraud victims.
If you are just learning that you may have been a victim of unemployment fraud because you received a 1099-G, please also take the following steps:
1. Step One – Contact ESD
Complete a fraud report on the ESD secure site: Fraud reporting form
You will need to include the following information when you contact ESD:
- Your full name
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
- Your address, date of birth, and phone number
- Information on how you learned a claim was filed on your behalf
2. Step Two – Contact HR
- Please contact your Human Resources Manager as well as the Department of Human Resources’ unemployment coordinator Elizabeth Detels at email@example.com. Please include a copy of the letter that was mailed to your home so that we can notify our third-party vendor, Employer’s Edge.
3. Step Three – Police report
- File an online or non-emergency report with the law enforcement agency whose jurisdiction you live in.
- Seattle residents can file an online report at the City of Seattle Online Reporting website.
- King County residents can file an online report at the King County Online Reporting website.
- Start keeping a file folder or journal with the information from this incident, including any case numbers. Some government services and accommodations are available to victims of identity theft that are not available to the general public, such as getting certain public records sealed.
4. Step Four – FTC Identity Theft report
- File an Identity Theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via their online form at www.identitytheft.gov.
- Review the materials available from the FTC about how to respond to, limit the damage from, and start recovering from identity theft. You can find useful and reassuring resources at the FTC Consumer Information Identity Theft site and www.identitytheft.gov.
5. Step Five – The three major credit bureaus
- Obtain your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- Report to the credit bureaus that the fraudulent claim was made using your identity and provide them with the case number from your police report. You can have a fraud alert put on your identity or freeze your credit. Doing either is free by law.
- A fraud alert is free and will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
- Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
- Check your credit activity at least once a year. As a victim of identity theft, you have the right to check it monthly if you choose.
- Credit Freeze – If you do not have upcoming large purchases, such as a home, you may want to freeze your credit for more protection. It is free, and you can do it yourself. Learn more at the FTC Consumer Identity Credit Freeze site.
6. Step Six – Keep your notes
- Hang on to any notes, copies of emails, etc. This is the paper trail that you can reference if you face any identity issues or locate inaccuracies on your credit history sometime in the future.
If you are a victim of identity fraud, please make sure you follow these steps. They may seem like more work than they are worth; however, they are crucial in helping you recover and combat this crime nationwide.