With the rise in unemployment insurance claims, there are more opportunities than ever for people to have their identity stolen.
Identity theft activity related to unemployment insurance is on the rise in Illinois. The Attorney General’s office has alerted the public that people who have not filed for unemployment insurance are receiving letters and debit cards in the mail even though they haven’t applied for unemployment insurance.
Unfortunately, if you have received one of these letters or cards, your identity has probably been compromised. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to secure your identity.
If you or someone you know believes that their identity has been stolen to claim unemployment insurance, here is what you should do:
- If you got a pre-loaded debit card in the mail, do not activate it.
- Notify the state and local authorities about the fraud
- Immediately contact the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) at 1-800-814-0513 to report a false claim.
- Reach out to the Illinois Attorney General’s office about steps to take to guard against identity theft or call the Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630.
- File a police report with your local police department or sheriff.
- Get your credit report and keep an eye on it
- You can check your credit report once a week for free through April 2021 at annualcreditreport.com. Most banks also have free credit checks.
- You can also request a fraud alert by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus.
- Consider placing a freeze on your credit to prevent any more fraudulent activity.
- Review all your financial accounts in detail to make sure they are accurate and immediately dispute any unauthorized credits or debits to your financial institution.
If you are a victim of unemployment fraud, you will not be responsible for repaying stolen unemployment benefits and will still be eligible to file for unemployment benefits should you become unemployed in the future.
Have more questions? We can help. Contact MCK today.