Fraudulent Unemployment Claims are on the Rise

Employers in New York State (NYS) and across the country are starting to see an increased number of fraudulent unemployment claims being made under their employees’ names and social security numbers.

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) states that it has identified over 425,000 fraudulent unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, totaling more than $5.5 billion in benefits. These fraudulent unemployment claims have been referred to federal prosecutors while the DOL continues to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement.

So, what can you as an employer do to help identify and stop fraud?

Communicate With Your Employees

Let your employees know that if they happen to receive any Unemployment Insurance (UI) or DOL notices in the mail stating that they are eligible for UI or that a debit card is coming to them relating to their claim, to let you know as soon as possible so you can help them report the fraud.

Check Notices for Accuracy

If you receive an employer NYS Notice of UI Potential Charges, we recommend that you triple check the forms for accuracy including names, addresses, and all social security numbers.  We also highly encourage you to check those claim forms as soon as they come in, as employers have 10 days to send in claim corrections/denials or their UI accounts will be charged, and money would be released to the fraudulent person.

Important Links

Here is a link for employees to report UI fraud to NYS: https://webapps.labor.ny.gov/dews/ui/fraud/report-fraud.shtm

More information on UI fraud from NYS:  https://www.labor.ny.gov/agencyinfo/report-fraud.shtm

Here are some Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommendations for employees and employers: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/06/unemployment-benefits-fraud-puts-workers-risk-more-id-theft 

Get the help you need

Insero & Co. has decades of experience working with businesses and nonprofits of all sizes. Our human resources and recruiting services team can help you with questions about a variety of personnel issues such as unemployment.