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Unemployment scams

Scammers are filing unemployment benefits using other people's names and personal information. Learn how to protect yourself and your benefits from this type of identity theft.

Warning signs of unemployment scams

Someone may be trying to commit an unemployment scam against you if you did not apply for unemployment benefits, but you received:

  • A notice from your state's unemployment office
  • A notice from your former employer about an unemployment benefits application that you did not apply for
  • Form 1099-G that shows you got unemployment benefit payments you were not expecting and never received. The 1099-G you receive may be sent to you from a state where you have never been employed.
  • A direct deposit from your state's unemployment office that you did not expect to receive
  • A call from someone claiming to be from your state unemployment office saying money was deposited into your account by mistake

If you did apply for unemployment benefits, you may be affected by an unemployment scam if:

  • The application you filled out online was not really your state's official unemployment insurance website 
  • You were approved for unemployment insurance payments but have not received them
  • The unemployment office rejected your application for benefits because they already received a claim under your name

How to report an unemployment scam

Report the scam to:

  • Your former employer
  • Your state unemployment insurance program

Search for your state unemployment insurance program.

If you received Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits you did not expect or receive, learn what to do when you file your federal tax return.

How to protect yourself

  • Do not share personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth.

LAST UPDATED: December 6, 2023


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