Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

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NorCal13
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Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:02 pm

Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by NorCal13 »

Hi All,

My DW got a notice in the mail from California-EDD (unemployment admin office) lat week about her claims status for unemployment being approved (case # etc.). Well the big problem is...she did not lose her job and is very much gainfully employed by her F1000 company. The letter had all of her correct info (employer name, home address, home phone, etc.). Naturally I was suspicious at first of the letter, but all the phone numbers, email addresses, on the letter are legit (actual state office).

What we've done so far:

1) We immediately went online to the state's EDD website to report the issue via form. Planning to scan the letter and send it to the state today also.
2) Informed her employer. They didn't help a whole lot other than to say that we should be concerned, check credit, etc.
3) Also filed on the FTC Identity Theft site about identity theft.
4) We immediately checked the three credit bureaus for her file and all seems ok. WE have not yet signed up for credit/fraud monitoring
5) We also plan to call the local police dept on Monday.

My questions:

1) Should we sign up for the Credit Bureau's Fraud Monitoring service? Is it worth it? (don't even know what it costs so any experienced folks weigh in please)
2) Seems like AnnualCreditReports.com allows weekly checks during Covid time, so I guess we will do that.
3) Anything else we should be doing? Need to tell the IRS? Social Security?
4) that FTC site - is that any use at all?

This has us worried - we heard that this is a big national scam. Perhaps others have dealt with this and can help!

Thank you..
Blake7
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:52 pm
Location: USA

Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by Blake7 »

I’d do an all-bureau credit freeze which will help prevent further damage.
lazynovice
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:48 pm

Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by lazynovice »

This has been rampant since the Pandemic Unemployment Insurance has been in effect. Make sure you are telling the HR department at your wife's employer. All big companies have been dealing with this over the last 4 months or so. Notifying the state is the best thing to do. They too have been dealing with it. In the cases we have seen at my employer, the victim's are seeing nothing besides the unemployment theft. No other identify theft occurring- but most are protecting themselves through some form of credit monitoring just in case.

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/coro ... m/2411928/

This article says you can also report it to the IRS so you don't end up owing taxes on benefits you did not receive.
Katietsu
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by Katietsu »

It sounds like you have already seen the ftc page on the fraudulent unemployment claims? (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/ ... -your-name)

I understand that you are upset. But, I believe that everyone’s personal information is in the hands of criminals. As long as no one gets to my financial accounts with my actual money/investments at risk, I just consider it part of living in 2020.

It sounds like you have taken all the right steps. I would open an online account with the the social security administration to prevent someone else from doing so. You will need to unfreeze your credit if you want to do this entirely online. I would try to keep your tax withholding low enough that you will not get a refund. That way, a false tax return is just an inconvenience. You can see if your wife qualifies for an IRS Identity Protection PIN number.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by ResearchMed »

NorCal13 wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:05 pm 5) We also plan to call the local police dept on Monday.
Why not call the non-emergency number for your PD sooner, and ask them?

When I had a charge card used to arrange to pickup in person "my" new laptop at a store about 3,000 miles away, the store and Amex both caught it as fraud before I could even open the email that the store had sent. That email was to tell me that, "sorry, you'll have to wait 48 hours before you can pick it up", etc.

Meanwhile, I phoned Amex, and they told me to call the local police.
I thought that was a bit over the top, but I called them even though it was the wee hours, because we were about to get on an early flight out of town.

I felt silly, but the PD said not only that I was doing "the right thing", but that given our travel plans, could they send an officer over right now...?

I have no idea what the PD does with/about this type of fraud.
Does anyone know what *local* Police might do about this type of fraud/attempted fraud? Is it just for the record, in case some pattern shows up sooner or later?

RM
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MJS
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by MJS »

Despite being long retired, I received a state unemployment debit card rather unexpectedly last week. (Thank goodness for bureaucratic computers!) When I checked the bank account, it had an email address I had never used (my full name at hotmail). I sent Hotmail a fraud alert.
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celia
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by celia »

ResearchMed wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:45 pm I have no idea what the PD does with/about this type of fraud.
Does anyone know what *local* Police might do about this type of fraud/attempted fraud? Is it just for the record, in case some pattern shows up sooner or later?
First of all, if you later need to file any kind of claim to recover damages, let's say, YOU may need a copy of the police report.

The police probably use the information to look for patterns in helping to catch the perpetrators. In addition, let's say if five people who were victims of identity theft were also victims of some other crime a month later, the police would be able to warn the others who had identity theft.
JOEVANDAL
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by JOEVANDAL »

I had this happen to me also. The State of Washington paid out over $500 million in fraudulent claims. Oh, but don't worry, they've recovered about $250 million. Nobody has been fired in Olympia.
I was advised to complete a police report with my local PD after I got all the forms filled out with the state, which I did do.
My credit is fine, but it amazes me that states get scammed so easily.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by Mudpuppy »

ResearchMed wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:45 pm I have no idea what the PD does with/about this type of fraud.
Does anyone know what *local* Police might do about this type of fraud/attempted fraud? Is it just for the record, in case some pattern shows up sooner or later?
I agree with calling the police department's non-emergency number now, rather than waiting until Monday. As for what the PD will do, it greatly depends on where in California the OP lives. The quality of service from the PD varies dramatically with each jurisdiction. Some might just have the OP file an online report so they have a case number. Some might have a special unit dedicated to financial crimes who will look into it further. Even if they look into it further, they probably won't keep OP informed on the case.
Katietsu wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:21 pm It sounds like you have taken all the right steps. I would open an online account with the the social security administration to prevent someone else from doing so. You will need to unfreeze your credit if you want to do this entirely online. I would try to keep your tax withholding low enough that you will not get a refund. That way, a false tax return is just an inconvenience. You can see if your wife qualifies for an IRS Identity Protection PIN number.
I'd agree with making the Social Security account, not just to have the account, but also to review the information they have about annual income to see if it seems like someone has been using the OP wife's SSN in the past. This might be "simple" unemployment fraud or it might be part of some wider misuse of the SSN.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by ResearchMed »

celia wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:01 pm
ResearchMed wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:45 pm I have no idea what the PD does with/about this type of fraud.
Does anyone know what *local* Police might do about this type of fraud/attempted fraud? Is it just for the record, in case some pattern shows up sooner or later?
First of all, if you later need to file any kind of claim to recover damages, let's say, YOU may need a copy of the police report.

The police probably use the information to look for patterns in helping to catch the perpetrators. In addition, let's say if five people who were victims of identity theft were also victims of some other crime a month later, the police would be able to warn the others who had identity theft.
Thanks. This makes sense.

Part of what surprised me was the speed with which our local PD responded, and by immediately sending an officer to our house before dawn.

In this area, we've always felt that our tax money has been well spent. The services, and especially the emergency services, are very good.
But this didn't seem - at least at the time, to us - to be any sort of urgency/emergency.

OTOH, perhaps there were some other possibly linked "events" that the PD was dealing with, and the new information might have been useful.
And I hadn't thought about the possibility that the PD might have wanted to keep a watch on our house (or such), or perhaps warn us, if other similar online fraud seemed to be linked to subsequent problems.

I guess I don't have enough of a criminal mentality, or a law enforcement one, either...

And I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of those in various services who help to keep all of the rest of us safe!

RM
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beyou
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by beyou »

Katietsu wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:21 pm It sounds like you have already seen the ftc page on the fraudulent unemployment claims? (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/ ... -your-name)

I understand that you are upset. But, I believe that everyone’s personal information is in the hands of criminals. As long as no one gets to my financial accounts with my actual money/investments at risk, I just consider it part of living in 2020.

It sounds like you have taken all the right steps. I would open an online account with the the social security administration to prevent someone else from doing so. You will need to unfreeze your credit if you want to do this entirely online. I would try to keep your tax withholding low enough that you will not get a refund. That way, a false tax return is just an inconvenience. You can see if your wife qualifies for an IRS Identity Protection PIN number.
Regarding the IRS pin, some states everyone qualifies.
Seems like they are experimenting with mass use of this program to prevent ID theft in fraudulent returns. In other states you need to already be an ID theft victim.

https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-frau ... ection-pin

“ To be eligible for 2020, you must have filed a federal return last year as a resident of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas or Washington.”
ColoRetiredGirl
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Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by ColoRetiredGirl »

I use Credit Karma to monitor my CBR on a weekly bases. I check my social security account on a monthly bases to ensure no one filed on my behalf. I also get credit card notifications if a purchase is made over $1.00. With this said, Norton 360 with LifeLock would be a great monitoring system if you do not use an Apple computer.
testing321
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Location: kansas city

Re: Someone filed unemployment claims in my wife's name! (CA)

Post by testing321 »

Dealing with the 1099-Gs will be a hassle for many people.
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