Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Report Fraud to DES 

Report suspected unemployment fraud using our online Fraud Report Form.

You may also call the DES Fraud Hotline at 910-557-9926.

Victims of Fraud and ID.me Verification

If you receive a notice to complete ID.me and are a victim of fraud, do not complete ID.me verification. Instead, you or your employer should report the suspected fraud to DES through the fraud hotline or Fraud Report Form.  

About Unemployment Fraud

We take unemployment fraud seriously.

The Division of Employment Security is working hard to detect and prevent fraud in the unemployment benefits system. If you suspect someone has used your name and personal information to apply for unemployment benefits, please let us know by using the DES Fraud Reporting Form.

Employers should review all notices they receive from the Division of Employment Security relating to unemployment benefit charges and employee separations, and report any errors or disagreements.

Examples of Unemployment Benefits Fraud

Identity Theft/Imposter Fraud

Fraudsters use another person’s personal identifying information (PII) to apply for and receive unemployment benefits. PII can be stolen through outside data breaches, email phishing schemes, impersonation scams and other methods.  

Fraud Overpayments

This kind of fraud occurs when a claimant makes false statements or withholds information to receive unemployment benefits; for example, when a claimant continues to receive benefits after returning to work, and does not report their earnings.

According to the FBI, be on the lookout for the following suspicious activities:

  • Receiving communications regarding unemployment insurance forms when you have not applied for unemployment benefits.
  • Unauthorized transactions on your bank or credit card statements related to unemployment benefits.
  • Any fees involved in filing or qualifying for unemployment insurance.
  • Unsolicited inquiries related to unemployment benefits.
  • Fictitious websites and social media pages mimicking those of government agencies.

Reporting Unemployment Fraud

If you suspect someone has used your personal information to apply for unemployment benefits, you should report it to DES using our Fraud Reporting Form. This will allow us to investigate the suspected fraud and, if necessary, stop the payment of benefits.

Our benefits system may automatically send you a bill for overpayment of benefits. If you have been a victim of fraud, don’t worry! You are not liable for the payment.

Requests for information about a fraudulent claim may be submitted to DES using the Request for Release of Information Form.

Tips for Victims of Identity Theft

We also recommend you consider taking the following steps if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft:

  • File a police report.
  • When you file your income taxes, ONLY include income you actually received. Do not wait to receive a corrected 1099-G to file your taxes.
    • The processing of your tax return should not be delayed while your report of unemployment identity theft is under investigation.
    • If you have not filed your taxes yet, do not report the incorrect 1099-G income on your tax return.
    • If you have already filed your taxes, do not file an amended return. The IRS will issue additional guidance regarding your next steps. Refer to the Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits page on IRS.gov for updates and additional tax filing information.
  • Check your credit report for suspicious activity or unauthorized lines of credit opened. Per federal regulations, you can request one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) through AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1- 877-322-8228; you will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity. For information and steps to further protect your credit, visit the Credit Report page on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consumer site.
  • Report unemployment identity theft that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud. In addition to reporting with the state, reporting with the National Center for Disaster Fraud helps law enforcement stop future unemployment identity theft. Filing this report with the National Center for Disaster Fraud will also notify the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, which is the primary agency responsible for investigating unemployment fraud. You may not receive a response back after submitting this information.

Unemployment Scams and Fraud Alerts

The Division of Employment Security occasionally receives notification of potential scams aimed at unemployment claimants and their current or former employers. Learn more about known Unemployment Scams and Fraud Alerts.