Unemployment Fraud – Employer Guide

Unemployment Fraud – Employer Guide

As an employer, you might think that identity theft and fraud only happen to individuals. However, fraudsters are not only after personal information but also after company assets, particularly unemployment insurance funds. With the easing of regulation and an increase in benefit amounts, the filing of fraudulent unemployment claims has become a particularly profitable avenue for criminals recently. In fact, according to the Government Accountability Office, in 2020 alone, the US government paid out over $12 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits.

What is unemployment fraud?

It occurs when someone knowingly and willfully makes false statements or withholds information to obtain unemployment insurance benefits. During the COVID pandemic, unemployment fraud has skyrocketed due to the high number of people who lost their jobs and the increase in benefit amounts. Fraudsters have taken advantage of overwhelmed state agencies that are responsible for processing claims and submitting false claims on behalf of others, including people who still have jobs.

Protect your company

To protect against unemployment fraud, employers should be aware of the tactics used by fraudsters. Here are some steps employers can take to protect their companies from unemployment fraud:

  • Educate employees about unemployment fraud: Let your employees know about the potential for fraud and provide them with information on how to spot and report it.
  • Monitor unemployment claims: Regularly review and monitor claims filed against your company. If an employee is still working for you and you receive a claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf, report it immediately.
  • Respond to notices promptly: If you receive a notice of unemployment benefits filed on behalf of one of your employees, respond promptly with accurate and detailed information.
  • Keep employment records up-to-date: Ensure that your employee records are accurate and up-to-date. This includes information such as start and end dates of employment, pay rates, and job titles.
  • Consider a third-party vendor: Consider using a third-party vendor to help manage unemployment claims. These vendors can provide expertise in handling claims and help identify potential fraud.
Suspect Fraud?

If you suspect fraudulent activity, you should take immediate action. The first step is to report the suspected fraud to the appropriate state agency. You should also conduct an internal investigation to determine if fraud has occurred within your organization. If fraud is confirmed, take action to prevent further losses and report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

It’s important to note that unemployment fraud is a form of identity theft, and as an employer, you may also have to address the potential identity theft of the affected employee and other employees. When fraudsters obtain an employee’s personal information to file a fraudulent unemployment claim, it can lead to other forms of identity theft, such as credit card fraud or opening fraudulent accounts in the employee’s name. Therefore, it’s essential to take swift action and report any suspected fraudulent activity to prevent further losses and protect your employees’ personal information. By doing so, you can help safeguard your company’s assets and reputation, as well as ensure the well-being of your employees.

While fraudsters may use various tactics to steal from individuals and companies, unemployment fraud is a particular concern for employers. By taking the steps outlined above, employers can help protect their companies from fraudulent unemployment claims and ensure that unemployment insurance funds are used for their intended purpose. Stay vigilant and report any suspected fraudulent activity immediately.

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SVB Collapse Enables Scammers

SVB Collapse Enables Scammers

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsed on March 10, 2023, which has caused a ripple effect throughout the global financial system. Unfortunately, the SVB Collapse Enables Scammers to take advantage of the situation and use the bank’s downfall to scam people.

SVB was a US-based commercial bank and the 16th largest bank in the country, which also happened to be the largest bank by deposits in Silicon Valley, California. The bank failed after a run on its deposits, which has impacted many businesses and people in the technology, life science, healthcare, private equity, venture capital, and premium wine industries who were customers of SVB.

What they are using

Security researchers have noted that hackers are registering suspicious domains and conducting phishing campaigns, preparing for business email compromise (BEC) attacks. These attacks aim to steal money, steal account data, or infect targets with malware.

Researcher Johannes Ulrich has reported that threat actors are already registering suspicious domains related to SVB that are very likely to be used in attacks. Cyber-intelligence firm Cyble has also published a report exploring developing SVB-themed threats and warning about additional domains. Some examples given in a report published on the SANS ISC and Cyble websites include:

  • login-svb.com,
  • svbbailout.com,
  • svbcertificates.com, svbclaim.com,
  • svbcollapse.com,
  • svbdeposits.com,
  • svbhelp.com,
  • svblawsuit.com.
  • svbdebt.com,
  • svbclaims.net,
  • svb-usdc.com,
  • svb-usdc.net,
  • svbi.io,
  • banksvb.com,
  • svbank.com,
  • svblogin.com.

Many of these sites were registered on the day of the bank’s collapse and are already hosting cryptocurrency scams.

How they are using it

The scammers might attempt to contact former clients of SVB to offer them a support package, legal services, loans, or other fake services relating to the bank’s collapse. Some threat actors are impersonating SVB customers and telling customers that they need payments sent to a new bank account after the bank’s collapse. However, these bank accounts belong to the threat actors, who steal payments meant to go to the legitimate company.

These scam pages tell SVB customers that the bank is distributing USDC as part of a “payback” program. However, clicking on the site’s ‘Click here to claim’ button brings up a QR code that attempts to compromise crypto wallets when scanned.

In another case, the threat actors behind “cash4svb.com” attempt to phish former SVB customers’ contact information who are trade creditors or lenders, promising them a return between 65% and 85%.

SVB Collapse Enables Scammers to take advantage of the situation and use the bank’s downfall to scam people.  Overall, people must be vigilant about these scams and take steps to protect themselves from cybercriminals.

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Open Season for Tax Identity Thieves!

Open Season for Tax Identity Thieves!

Open season for Tax Identity Thieves is in full swing.  They are ready for you to procrastinate, to hold off on doing your taxes because they are ready to do it for you. 

Tax identity theft occurs when the bad guy uses your Social Security Number (SSN) to file a fake tax return and collect your refund.  You are unlikely to find out about it until you attempt to file your real tax return and it is rejected by the IRS as a duplicate.  The fraudulent use of your SSN means you also may be at risk for other types of identity theft. 

What to do.
  • Beat them to it and file your taxes as early as possible to ensure you do not become a victim.  This is extremely important if you know your information has been part of any one of the data breaches over the years or if you have had your identity stolen in the past already. 
  • Protect your Social Security Number whenever possible.  You are often asked for your SSN on forms but it is not always necessary.  Do not provide your SSN unless it is absolutely needed.
  • Beware of SCAMS.  Lookout for Government imposters threatening fines, arrest or cancellation of your SSN if you do not pay them immediately.  They will usually ask you to pay with a gift card or prepaid debit card. If you pay them, you will never see your money again.  Some scammers will ask you to confirm your identity by providing your SSN, again, do not. Remember, the IRS will contact you first by mail.  Additionally, the IRS will never email you, send you a text or contact you on a social network.
  • Secure your network.  If you are filing electronically, use a secure, password-protected network or Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to do so.  You can also mail your returns directly from the Post Office, do not put them in your personal mailbox with the flag up!
  • Know your tax person!  If you are using someone to prepare your taxes, you must go through your due diligence before you hand over your Personally Identifiable Information, (PII). 
What if it happens to me? 
  1. First, contact the IRS as soon as you can.   Keep careful documentation of everything and stay in touch with the IRS until the issue is resolved. 
  2. Second, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
  3. Third, file a complaint with the local police department. 
  4. Fourth, put a fraud alert on your credit file with all three credit bureaus.
    It is an open hunting season for identity thieves but we don’t have to be deer in headlights, take these steps and mitigate your risk.   

Hunting season for Tax Identity Thieves is in full swing and its time to know your rights:  PDF HERE 

If you don’t want to fight this fight alone, get identity theft protection and mitigate your risks with monitoring, cover your losses with insurance and ensure peace of mind with a place to turn with full-service recovery experts.  Read more about identity theft protection here:  14 features of Identity Theft Protection Monitoring and the Most Important Feature!






Don’t Wait to Protect Your Clients

Don’t Wait to Protect Your Clients

Agents, you have a unique opportunity to help protect your clients from the threat of identity theft by offering protection as part of your benefits package. Don’t Wait to Protect Your Clients.  Below you will find five persuasive reasons why you should start offering it to all your clients today.

5 Reasons to offer identity theft

  1. Protect your clients: Identity theft can lead to significant financial losses, damaged credit scores, and even legal trouble. Help your clients avoid these risks and give them peace of mind with identity theft protection.
  2. Stay competitive: Identity theft is becoming more prevalent. Many employers are looking to offer or already offer identity theft protection as a standard part of their benefits package. Stay competitive and attract new clients who value this type of protection.
  3. Build client loyalty: Offering id protection shows your clients that you care about their well-being and are willing to go the extra mile to protect them. This can help build loyalty and keep your clients coming back to you for their benefit needs.
  4. Increase revenue: Identity theft protection can be a lucrative add-on service, with many providers offering commissions to agents who sell their products. You can increase your revenue and grow your business by providing this service.
  5. Fulfill your duty of care: As an employee benefits agent, you have a duty of care to your clients to provide them with the best possible protection against risks and threats. You can fulfill this duty and demonstrate to your clients that you value their security by providing identity theft protection.

Offering identity theft protection to your clients is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. Help protect your clients, stay competitive, build loyalty, increase revenue, and fulfill your duty of care. Doing so will help ensure that your clients feel safe and secure, and will be more likely to remain loyal customers.

It can be simple too…

defend-id is a leading provider of identity theft protection services.   Offering a simple and fast implementation process and a range of services. Services such as credit monitoring, identity restoration, and lost wallet protection, and their user-friendly interface makes it easy for clients to enroll. They also offer competitive commission rates and marketing materials to help promote the service. Don’t Wait to Protect Your Clients

Become a defend-id Partner today!

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Challenges Facing HR Leaders

Challenges Facing HR Leaders

A recent poll asked, “what are the biggest challenges facing HR leaders today”.   Given the size of the poll, done on LinkedIn within the Human Resources (HR) Professionals page we thought it would be worth considering and sharing. (worth considering: 1, 2, and 4 may all impact number 3)

The Poll

  • According to a poll of 4,334 professionals, talent retention was identified as the top concern by 65% of respondents. Retaining top talent is crucial to the success of any organization, as losing valuable employees can be costly in terms of productivity, morale, and revenue.
  • Diversity in the workplace was only a concern for 7% of respondents.  While this is a concern very much talked about it is the lowest concern based on the survey.
  • The use of technology is increasingly relevant in the workplace. Digital transformation is a concern for 10% of HR professionals surveyed. HR leaders must adapt and leverage new digital tools to stay competitive and efficient in the workplace.
  • Employee health and well-being came in at 18%, the second biggest challenge according to HR professionals. HR professionals have a vested interest in promoting employee health and well-being. Focusing on health and wellness can lead to; improved productivity, decreased absenteeism, and increased employee retention. Additionally, demonstrating concern for employee well-being can help build a positive and supportive workplace culture and can have financial benefits for an organization.
Employee benefits

Employee benefits play a vital role in enhancing employee retention, well-being, and productivity. Identity theft protection, in particular, is a critical benefit that should be considered in all four areas mentioned in the poll. Identity theft can impact an employee’s financial well-being, health, and work productivity, and offering identity theft protection can help mitigate these effects. Furthermore, it can enhance digital transformation efforts. If their data is secure, employees will feel more comfortable adopting new digital tools.

There are several challenges facing HR leaders, with talent retention being the most pressing. Nonetheless, diversity in the workplace, employee health and well-being, and digital transformation can also contribute to employee retention and organizational success. HR can enhance employee well-being and improve overall effectiveness  by offering employee benefits such as identity theft protection.

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