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Iowa Workforce Development Encourages Iowans to be Vigilant, To Protect Identity Following Increased Fraud Attempts

By Staff | Apr 22, 2021

DES MOINES – Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) reports an increase in recent fraudulent activity related to unemployment insurance. This includes claims filed using stolen identities or unauthorized access to an individual’s account, as well as computer generated claims from a single employer that exceeds the number of employees. Unemployment insurance fraud is a national issue, and IWD is working closely with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, and other states around the country to share information regarding known bad actors or methods of attack.

IWD has not suffered any data breaches and none of the information being used to file fraudulent unemployment claims is from a data breach of IWD. Criminal organizations are using highly sophisticated algorithms and programs to attack states’ unemployment systems. Fraudsters are obtaining identity information from many sources, such as from fraudulent phishing scams or recent large-scale private sector breaches that included private information from millions of individuals.

It is a good time to remind Iowans to protect their personal information, sign in credentials and passwords. Iowans should also take care to and establish PIN and passwords that are difficult for an outside person or computer to generate (for example, avoid using the last four digits of your social security number or date of birth).

IWD urges Iowans to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity related to unemployment claims. Indicators of fraudulent activity can include:

• A mailing from IWD notifying you of a claim in your name when you have not filed an unemployment insurance claim.

• A 1099-G from IWD stating you have income from unemployment insurance when you have not filed for or received unemployment insurance during the last calendar year.

• A fact-finding call or notice from IWD when you have not filed a claim for unemployment insurance.

• Your employer notifying you of a notice they received that an unemployment claim was filed.

• Anything you may suspect as fraudulent banking activity.

If you suspect fraudulent activity, contact IWD immediately by one of the following:

Email: UIfraud@iwd.iowa.gov

Phone number: 1-866-239-0843 ·

Web form: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/report-potential-unemployment-claimant-fraud

Additional information is available online from the United States Department of Labor at: http://www.dol.gov/fraud