HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — During this pandemic, the state is reporting more than 120,000 cases of unemployment fraud. People may have had their identities stolen. And the thieves applied for unemployment benefits using the stolen name.
Dennis Cole from Madison admits, “I was a victim of this myself.”
Cole is certified public account is a perfect example of how identity theft can happen to anyone.
“There was no way of knowing until it came in the mail.”
A debit card from the State Department of Labor came in the mail. On it, money in the form of unemployment benefits which Cole never applied for. It’s a national concern according to Deputy Commissioner Dudzinski from the State Department of Labor says more than 120,000 cases are suspected just in Connecticut.
Deputy Commissioner Daryle Dudzinski from the state Department of Labor says, “Labor agencies around the country have been reporting for months criminal activity is very high.”
He says the federal pandemic relief programs are being targeted. So what if you are a victim?
The Integrity Unit at CTDOL will review your claim and start the investigation. Meantime, here are some tips from the state:
- File a police report with your local police department.
- Get a copy to share with credit agencies.
- Change passwords on your email, banking, and other personal accounts.
- Make a list of credit card companies, banks where you do business.
- Tell them you are a victim of identity theft, and ask them to put a fraud alert on your account.
Some people are tipped off when a 1099 form for unemployment they didn’t file for comes in the mail. Others like Dennis Cole will get a debit card. His advice, “Hopefully – they know they shouldn’t have gotten it and won’t go and cash it.”
If you are a victim, the state can reissue you a corrected 1099 form. Log in here.