Unemployment Fraud Rising in the U.S. | Minnesota

Across the U.S., states, including Minnesota, have reported increased levels of fraudulent unemployment filings related to COVID-19. If you are a victim, reporting the crime can avoid future tax implications.

DSB_Marketing June 19, 2020

Across the U.S., states have reported increased levels of fraudulent unemployment filings related to COVID-19. With high levels of jobless claims overwhelming some state systems, federal authorities believe states are facing an “immense, sophisticated attack,” by an organized fraud ring using information likely obtained from older cyber hacks.

In Minnesota, both state and local law enforcement agencies have noted increased unemployment fraud. Individuals often first learn they’ve become a victim after receiving a letter from the state with information about an unemployment claim.

If you receive documentation or letters from the MN Unemployment Insurance office discussing a claim for benefits and you did not file for unemployment benefits, you are likely the victim of a fraudulent filing. We recommend the following course of action:

  1. Call the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance office. 651-296-6141. Let them know you did not submit this claim. Wait times can be long right now, but it is recommended you call and notify them.
  2. Communicate to your employer that someone has filed for unemployment benefits under your name and you did not submit this claim.
  3. Report this crime to your local police department. It is usually a simple 5-minute call to file a report, and in some areas, you may be able to report it online. Although your local police are limited in what they can do related to this matter, getting a case number is important should you later get a 1099-G (tax form reporting the unemployment income to you). Record your case number in your permanent records to prove that you reported the fraud and you will not be responsible for any potential income from this event. If you do receive a 1099-G form from the state next year, don’t worry; DS+B will be able to help you handle it.
  4. Freeze your credit. Contact the three credit reporting agencies or your credit monitoring service to freeze your credit report and put a hold on your credit.
    1. https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/
    2. https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
    3. https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

Reach out to your team at DS+B. We can file Form 14039 with the Internal Revenue Service to put them on notice that your tax records have had an identity theft event. Once this form is submitted, you will get a PIN number from the IRS each year that you will need to provide to DS+B when we prepare your taxes. This security measure will ensure that no one can submit false returns under your identity.