Identity theft for unemployment insurance

Imagine my surprise a month ago when I got a letter in the mail from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. My initial reaction was that it was related to some tax thing, but when I opened it I read:

Your claim for unemployment benefits was received by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).

If you have reason to believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits using your information or used a scam to obtain your private information, please go to our website to submit a fraud report and view next steps to mitigate risk and safeguard your personal information.

What The Actual F***? Someone was trying to be me and applying for unemployment benefits? Without hesitation I went to their site to report the fraud. I got an email back to say my identity theft report had been received.

Once this form is submitted, we will stop payment from being issued on the claim in question. However, you may continue to receive paperwork that’s automatically generated.

And that, I thought, was the end of that.

Until the end of last week, when I got another letter in the post, this time from US Bank. Now five years ago (or more, probably) I used to have a credit card with them, but cancelled it when I went through a phase of tidying up my finances. Were they sending me letters about that, and please come back, Julian?

Nope. It was a US Bank Reliacard. A debit card used by CDLE for disbursing unemployment benefits. Another glorious head meets desk moment. I’m guessing that the CDLE set the Reliacard application in motion before I reported the identity theft, and bingo! I get one. This time I went to the relevant US Bank site and reported the fraud and identity theft to them.

So some prat tried to use my name plus details to defraud CDLE into giving them unemployment benefits. But the fact that they used my address was their undoing: all the paperwork was mailed to me directly. Even so, I put a hold on my credit report with Experian (and hence the other two credit bureaus), which admittedly I feel I should’ve done before.

Let’s see what happens next…

Insect hive

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1 Response

#1 Eric Holton said...
05-May-21 8:16 AM

The same type of thing happened to me early in the pandemic, only I did not find out until I received a letter from the WA State unemployment saying that I needed to pay back the $10,000+ in benefits paid out so far. I reported back to them this was fraudulent. They agreed with me that it was after many months. I have also frozen all of my credit reports.

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