Washington State Unemployment Fraud
May 14, 2020
Protect Yourself from Unemployment Benefits Fraud
If you live in Washington, or anywhere else for that matter, there’s a high likelihood that someone has fraudulently applied for unemployment benefits in your name recently. Here’s an easy way to determine if this has happened to you and some steps on how you can prevent it.
I went to the Employment Security Department website and learned that an account had already been created using my social security number. You may be interested in taking some steps to ensure that yours doesn’t get created ‘on your behalf’ by someone without your permission.
At this point, there are two places you can go to ensure no one can take advantage of a couple of pieces of your personally identifiable information (PII).
First, go to Washington State Employment Security Department and sign up for an account. After you sign up, log in and click on “Apply for unemployment benefits or manage your current and past claims.” This will take you through a ‘verification’ process where their system will check to ensure your social security number hasn’t previously been registered. If it has, you will see a partially redacted email address.
Mine displayed as
firstname.lastname@example.org, which, to me, was an obvious indicator that someone else had registered without my permission.
If it doesn’t, then congratulations, you’ve successfully locked your ESD account from minor-league fraudsters.
After doing this, you should consider doing the same thing with your online Social Security account at Social Security Administration.
Basically, do it before someone else does it without your permission.
Be sure to tune in to next week’s episode of “How to Block Mail Thieves!”