UPDATED: Fraudulent Unemployment Claims and Identity Theft

Aug. 6, 2021

UPDATED - Aug. 6, 2021

The University, Arizona, and states across the nation have seen a surge in unemployment benefit fraud, largely in association with identity theft. Although there has not been a breach of information stored by AZ Department of Economic Security (DES) or the University, fraudsters are using phishing scams, previous corporate data breaches, and other tactics to collect information from individuals across the country.


Phishing notice

If you get a suspicious text message or email claiming to be from a state workforce agency, please report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud. You also can report it to the Federal Trade Commission. And please, tell the people you know about this scam. By sharing the information, you can help defeat the scammers.

Learn more on this Federal Trade Commission Blog post.

What should you to do if you suspect you are a victim of unemployment fraud?

You may receive a notification through mail or other personal communication. If Human Resources notifies you, start at step 3.

  1. University employees: Notify Human Resources by emailing HR-EmployeeAdvising@arizona.edu. If more information becomes available, we will contact you using email.

  2. Destroy any debit cards or checks you receive from the Arizona DES.

  3. Report fraud to Arizona DES here. Complete this official and secure form in its entirety. DES will be able to make any correction to your account and is partnering with law enforcement to conduct investigations.

  4. Watch for notices in the mail from the Arizona DES and pay close attention to the 2020 tax forms you receive. If you receive a 1099-G form for unemployment compensation you did not receive, contact DES immediately. Visit AZ DES' 1099-G Tax Form webpage to report the form you received.

  5. Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission hereThis site can help you recover from identity theft.

  6. Report the identity theft to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Disaster Complain Form.

  7. Consider freezing your credit files with  EquifaxExperianInnovisTransUnion, and the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange for free. Credit freezes prevent someone from opening a credit account or utility services in your name.

If the University receives an unemployment insurance claim for you

Human Resources will email you to confirm the claim is fraudulent. Human Resources will notify the claims management vendor to dispute the claim, which will also correct the record with DES. However, it is still important that you take steps 3-7 described above.


Additional protective steps you can take

  1. Review your credit reports once a year. Be certain that they don't include accounts that you have not opened. You can order it for free from Annualcreditreport.com.

  2. Consider removing your name from mailing lists of pre-approved offers of credit at OptOutPrescreen. This is the official Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website to accept and process requests from consumers to Opt-In or Opt-Out of firm offers of credit or insurance. 

University communication regarding unemployment fraud