Illinois Department of Employment Security fraud

The University has received numerous reports of employees being impacted by fraudulent unemployment claims. Some employees are reporting their wages are being garnished to recoup the fraudulent payments (that they did not receive). UIC Human Resources is reviewing unemployment claims for currently working employees (who are likely victims of fraud).

Unfortunately, employees who are victims will need to assume they are victims of identity theft and take steps themselves to resolve this issue with IDES, as well as protect themselves going forward. Here are resources:

Unemployment Fraud/ID Theft Resources:

Unemployment fraud in Illinois is a major problem under investigation by the FBI. See IDES press release – scroll to the end for info on reporting fraud. 

An individual who has not filed an unemployment claim but has received a debit card or an unemployment insurance (UI) finding letter in the mail has most likely been the target of fraud. An individual’s personal identifying information is being used by fraudsters to file an unemployment claim is likely due to a prior cyber hack or data breach, such as the Equifax breach. It is imperative that individuals take the following steps if they have not filed an unemployment claim and have erroneously received an unemployment debit card or UI finding letter in the mail:

Immediately report the claim online or call IDES at 800.814.0513 and when prompted:

  • Select the English or Spanish language option
  • Selection option 1 for claimants
  • Selection option 5 to report identity theft
  • Do not activate the debit card that was mailed to you.
  • Have your credit report checked for possible suspicious activity and post a fraud alert.
  • Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website to learn helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

Additional resources:

  • IDES has posted resources and a video about how to report unemployment fraud: 
  • ·         Additionally, the FBI is asking employees who may have been a victim to make a report to the FBI. Employees who have been a victim of this unemployment identity theft are also encouraged to maintain a folder and/or log including any related letters, phone calls and the fraudulent payment debit card (if they received one). Employees should not throw these cards away and should not use them but keep everything together for the FBI to review.
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