Delaware State Police are reporting an increase in identity theft cases related to unemployment claims.
Due to Covid-19 programs and other factors, the number of unemployment claims and fraudulent unemployment claims has increased, leading to strains on the unemployment claims system here and elsewhere.
Employers have also reported receiving notices of jobless claims from individuals who never worked at their business.
In Delaware and other states, fraudsters use names of residentsin filing claims.If the rare event that funds are paid out, an attempt to divert the funds to a different location is conducted.
The Victim in these cases becomes aware of the attempted identity theft when they receive a letter in the mail from the Department of Labor indicating their unemployment claim was denied.
Troopers say residents should carefully review their mail for items that may appear to be spam at first glance. Some Delawareans have received fraudulent unemployment paperwork from other states in addition to Delaware’s Department of Labor.
Individuals can use traditional identity theft protection measures to help protect themselves from becoming a victim of identity theft.
According to troopers, identity theft protection measures include:
- If you are the victim of unemployment benefits fraud, contact the Department of Labor to report the issue at email@example.com.
- If you are currently employed and received a notice in the mail regarding your application for unemployment, make your employer aware because they may also be victimized.
- Be aware of your digital footprint and take continual steps to secure your online presence. Remember to change passwords frequently and do not use your birthdate, 1234, etc., as a password; use secure internet connections; only enter your personal or credit card information into a secured site (the padlock will be located in the search bar).
- Be aware of fake websites, text messages, phone calls, and emails soliciting your personal information and do not respond to them.
- You may be at greater risk of Identity Theft if you are a known victim of a prior Data Breach. Take advantage of any credit monitoring offers.
- Monitor your credit regularly. There are additional applications for credit monitoring beyond regularly reviewing your bank and credit card statements.
For additional information, the Federal Trade Commission offers a detailed interactive guide to Identity Theft recovery athttps://www.identitytheft.gov/Steps