Some $*&%! Stole My Identification to Obtain Unemployment Benefits

Some $*&%! Stole My Identification to Obtain Unemployment Benefits

My name is Lonnie, and I am a victim of identification theft.

So test this out. A buddy of mine wrote a Fb publish about how someone stole his daughter’s Social Security number and submitted for unemployment positive aspects with Washington State’s Work Stability Division (ESD). Acquiring never transpired to me, I decided to go to ESD and try to file an unemployment claim. Just after I entered the information and facts I acquired the adhering to information:

The Social Protection variety (SSN) you entered presently exists and is linked to this partly concealed e-mail tackle: *****@fasternet.co

WHAT??!!??!? I have by no means filed an unemployment assert in my full daily life, and I undoubtedly have never ever applied an e mail address at fasternet.co. Who the #$%^%! is this?

I read through further and saw the adhering to information:

If you think you could be a victim of unemployment imposter fraud – when criminals illegally use for unemployment added benefits employing a further person’s personal and work data – report it! Use the type on the Employment Security Division (ESD) web page. Then wait to hear from ESD.

I couldn’t feel it. I was for the 1st time in my existence a victim of identification theft. And it wasn’t through the far more traditional route of credit history card or banking fraud it was by way of unemployment positive aspects fraud.

As I navigated the what do you do about it path, I realized a lot about the prevalence of identification fraud and just how exposed I was. Experian, a person of the three credit reporting firms, revealed some eye-popping statistics (all as of 2017).

  • 158 million Social Protection quantities uncovered in facts breaches
  • 14.2 million credit score card numbers exposed
  • $905 million in overall fraud losses
  • 13,852 id theft complaints influencing young children and teens
  • 60,000 issues of mail theft
  • 883,000 confirmed identity theft tax returns
  • 27% of details breaches have been health-related or health care associated

Identity theft is genuine. The undesirable fellas are intelligent and only treatment about finding your money. The soreness, frustration, and panic they leave in their wake indicates nothing at all to them. If you feel it can not take place to you then you happen to be dwelling beneath a rock.

As a consequence of my knowledge, I determined to compile everything I did to test for fraud exercise and the techniques I took once I found unemployment benefits fraud transpired. With any luck , these are practical to you as nicely.

  1. Evaluation your credit report at annualcreditreport.com for rogue accounts. You can do this for no cost at the time a calendar year. Do not be lulled into a phony feeling of security if all the things seems to be excellent. Matters like unemployment benefits will not display up on the report. You require to do extra digging.
  2. Check to see if somebody has employed your SSN to file an unemployment declare. In the state of Washington go to ESD Secure Accessibility Washington and comply with the instructions to create a Safe Obtain Washington account. This is how I discovered out anyone filed unemployment rewards utilizing my name and SSN.
  3. Request a Social Stability Account Assertion for any reward statements versus your SSN.
  4. Ask for an IRS Transcript for your tax filing background.
  5. Test if your private information and facts was incorporated in the Equifax barrive at which happened among May well and July of 2017 that exposed the private information of 140 million Us citizens. My SSN was just one of the 140 million.

If there has been fraudulent activity, just take the next actions:

  1. Go to Federal Trade Fee web page Identitytheft.gov. The internet site walks you by way of measures to choose depending on your situation.
  2. File a fraud report with your state. In Washington you file with ESD.
  3. File a police report with your regional police department.
  4. File an IRS Id Theft Affidavit.
  5. File an Equifax Fraud Inform. This lets credit history card firms know you were a sufferer of identification theft. In accordance to Equifax this places more checks in area to observe for fraudulent activity. They also notify Experian and Transunion of the theft. I are not able to converse to regardless of whether it is helpful at this level but come to feel it could not damage to do it.
  6. If the theft was medical-relevant, file a health-privacy criticism with the US Department of Well being & Human Services.

Irrespective of no matter whether you have fraudulent activity, I strongly suggest you do the pursuing:

  1. Position a credit freeze on your report with Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. A credit history freeze restricts access to your credit rating report. However, if you strategy to utilize for a credit score card, bank account, or mortgage loan you need to unfreeze your credit rating with each of the bureaus then freeze it yet again following the inquiry has been produced. A small inconvenience when compared to an individual opening a credit history card in your name applying your individual information and facts.
  2. Established up mail or text alerts with your financial institution and credit history card companies for any transactions with an amount of money greater than zero. The large economical expert services organizations supply warn possibilities that you can customise. You are going to get an warn any time the card is employed, which some may perhaps find annoying, but all over again I would instead delete a notification e mail or text than have someone run rampant with my credit rating card or lender account.
  3. Set up two-aspect authentication on your accounts. Also referred to as two-stage authentication, this enforces a next style of authentication in addition to a password (i.e. a textual content concept, fingerprint, or e mail verification) if another person tries to log into just one of your accounts.
  4. Use a crosscut shredder for any files that contains individual facts. This also includes any credit score card or monetary expert services gives you may receive in the mail.
  5. If your condition offers, establish an account that allows you sign-up your SSN and accessibility on the net products and services of many condition agencies. In the condition of Washington this is known as Safe Access Washington. You may need to do some digging for your point out but it is well worth it.
  6. Be cautious about making use of community WIFI consider employing a Virtual Non-public Community (VPN) if you entry delicate own information on community networks.
  7. Make confident you also critique accounts for a beloved one particular, spouse, partner, and kids.

Identification theft is real, and it can take place to you. The bad men will hardly ever go away, but you can make it more difficult for them by putting some preventative actions in spot to shield you and your cherished types from id theft.

Observe: If you would like the hyperlinks to all bold references go right here.