Reporting Fraudulent Unemployment Claims and Identity Theft
COB Employees: Please be aware of this fraudulent activity and know what to do if you are (or have been) affected. The number of claims is on the rise, and several COB employees have already been impacted. Please note: There is no evidence of a breach to City-held personal or professional information or City of Bryan I.T. systems.
Across the United States, state unemployment offices have been receiving an ever-increasing number of fraudulent claims from people claiming to be someone else. According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Texas has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of unemployment claims. Potential fraud was connected to more than 4,500 unemployment claims in Texas this year, and the number keeps rising.
In many of these fraudulent cases, unsuspecting Texans were the targets of identity theft. Their stolen identities were then used to make unemployment claims. In many cases, bad actors appear to have obtained personal home passwords or private information from the individuals in question through direct hacking or phishing as stated in the TWC news media.
If you receive paperwork from the Texas Workforce Commission regarding unemployment, and it appears to be fraudulent as you have not applied for benefits, contact Human Resources. HR will respond to TWC regarding these fraudulent claims, but we ask the employee to take the extra steps to do so also. See steps below to report the activity to appropriate agencies and learn what to do next.
Let us know if you have questions or concerns at this time. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
How to Report Identity Theft or a Fraudulent Unemployment Claim
- If a current employee, contact the City of Bryan Human Resources Department at 979-209-5060 and let us know you have received TWC paperwork in the mail. HR will respond to TWC regarding these fraudulent claims, but we ask the employee to take the extra steps to do so also.
- Visit IdentityTheft.gov to report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and receive assistance with next important recovery steps. Reporting to the FTC allows you to place a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit, get your free credit reports, and close any fraudulent accounts.
- Report any fraudulent claim through the TWC Unemployment Fraud Submission portal found here. This is a secure link provided by TWC. Select ‘Did not file the UI claim’. When completing the form, be sure to use the address to which the letters/forms were mailed. Please list City of Bryan as the employer name or if you work for a BTU Department use Bryan Texas Utilities as the employer name. (If you encounter difficulties with the portal, please email email@example.com or leave a message at the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642.)
- Notify your local law enforcement agency (i.e. police department or sheriff’s office) and file a criminal report for identity theft. If your local law enforcement agency is the Bryan Police Department, contact Intake at 979-209-5300. More information on reporting Identity Theft is available from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
- Notify your banks and credit card companies and request a fraud alert to be placed on your file. Ensure that you are still able to access your account, but with alerts set up to monitor activity.
- Review the U.S. Department of Justice Unemployment Insurance Fraud Consumer Protection Guide.