The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the highest unemployment
rates since the Great Depression. Adding to the misfortune, this has also created
a ripe opportunity for scammers to steal Americans’ unemployment benefits. These
false claims have been filed with information such as a social security number
that may have been collected from a data breach. Below are important steps you
should take to protect yourself.
1. Report Unemployment Insurance
Fraud to Your Employer and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
If you received a U.S. Bank Reliacard due to a fraudulent claim, fill out this form and email it to [email protected].
2. File a report with The
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
File a complaint with the FTC online at identitytheft.gov or call 877-ID-THEFT. They can assist with implementing fraud prevention tools, including placing a fraud alert on your credit, pulling credit reports, and closing any fraudulent accounts opened in your name.
3. Contact the three major
To minimize the damage to your financial health, it is best to contact the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to freeze your credit reports. You can do this over the phone or online. By law, the bureaus must freeze and unfreeze your credit reports for free.
Once your reports are frozen, anyone who tries to open an
account in your name will be unable to. But remember: If you want to apply for
a loan or credit card, you need to unfreeze your reports first.