It seems unthinkable that people would attempt to defraud the U.S. unemployment system when millions of workers across the country are out of work and reliant on emergency benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is happening, and many PROTEC17 members have reached out to let us know that their personal information has been used to file false claims.
While the breach, which began in Washington State, has been identified and additional security measures are being implemented, the Employment Security Department (ESD) is recommending that WA residents create an account with them, even if you do not need to seek benefits at this time. Securing an account in the system will prohibit a fraudulent account being created in your name.
If you suspect you have been a victim of unemployment fraud, PROTEC17 has created these guidelines to help you protect your financial identity and credit history. Follow all of the steps to ensure that you are recognized as a victim of identity theft by your employer, as well as the local, state, and federal government.
If you have any questions, please reach out to your Union Representative.