We continue to track the increase in fraud through our Financial Hardship Studies. As of our latest report, 35% of consumers said they were either the targets or victims of a digital fraud attempt. As hardship continues for many families, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters capitalize by evolving their tactics to match the times. Most recently, unemployment insurance fraud has become a popular scheme.
35% of consumers said they were either the targets or victims of a digital fraud attempt.
Unemployment insurance fraud happens when someone uses your personal information to file for unemployment benefits in your name. Victims of this scheme may only find out when they receive notice from their state unemployment insurance agency, employer or if they try to apply for unemployment themselves. Unemployment benefits don’t appear on your reports and unemployment doesn’t directly impact your credit score.
However, if someone is able to apply for benefits in your name, it means they have pieces of personal identifying information that can be used in ways beyond unemployment insurance claims, like opening new credit accounts in your name. This is why it’s important to review your reports for accounts that you did not establish.
If you’ve been a victim of unemployment insurance fraud, it’s important to take action quickly. Below is a guide for where to report it and steps you can take to protect your credit report information.
Promptly reporting identity theft will help you get on the road to recovery and limit any delays in receiving future benefits should you need them. The Federal Trade Commission has a special recovery plan for unemployment fraud victims which includes an identity theft report. This plan provides pre-filled forms and will help you complete letters you can use when contacting business and agencies to report the fraud.
If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you should take action to safeguard your data identity. Free protections and resources are explained in the Fraud Victim Bill of Rights. Make sure to read your credit reports thoroughly and check for accounts you don’t recognize.
Realizing you’re the victim of identity theft is a scary experience that can leave you feeling vulnerable as you try to uncover the extent of the impact. We know it can be a journey recovering from fraud, but TransUnion is here to help you along the way. We’re committed to helping you manage and take back control of your valuable data identity.