State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons Warns Public of Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons is warning the public of fraudulent unemployment insurance claims appearing within the county and nationwide.

U.S Department of Labor officials reported the fraudulent unemployment activity is spreading across the country fueled by the increase in claims offered to those unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This identity theft is resulting in unemployment insurance fraud that is not the fault of the employer or the identity theft victim.

“We are seeing identity theft cases within Madison County by scammers applying for unemployment claims under active employees’ names. Federal, state, county and local law enforcement have been notified and are working nationwide to combat the fraudulent claims.”

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) lists the following ways to spot unemployment insurance identity theft:

  • You receive a debit card or an unemployment insurance letter (UI Finding) and has not filed a claim for benefits.
  • You are notified by your employer that a claim for benefits has been filed when you have not been separated from employment.
  • You attempt to file a claim online and one already exits.
  • You receive IRS correspondence regarding unreported UI benefits.
  • You receive notice of a State or Federal tax offset.

If you suspect you are a victim of an impostor UI claim, you are encouraged to follow the steps below. These steps are for the impacted individual only (not the employer).

  • First, report the incident to https://identitytheft.gov/ which is managed by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Second, contact your local police department and file a report (when possible).
  • Finally, report the incident to the state in which the impostor claim was filed. In Illinois, victims will report the incident to IDES by phone at (800) 814-0513 or use their Contact Form to promptly report it. IDES advises to only contact by one method to prevent possible delays with your report.

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