Washington State Unemployment 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.
Here’s an easy way to determine if this has happened to you and some steps to 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 pieces of your personally identifiable information (PII).
First, go to https://secure.esd.wa.gov/home/SAWUserRegistrations/SignUp and sign up for an account with the Washington State Employment Security Department.
After you sign up for an account, log in and click on “Apply for unemployment benefits or manage your current and past claims”. Doing 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 the minor-league fraudsters.
After doing this, you should consider doing the same thing with your online Social Security account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIR/CatsView.action
Basically do it before someone else does it without your permissions.
Be sure to tune in next week’s episode of “How to Block Mail Thieves!”
G O D S A V E T H E R E P U B L I C