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Ohio Unemployment Claims Scam

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Update: The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has published the following webpage to address the current unemployment scam: Additionally, one way that the scam is becoming known to victims is the receipt of a fraudulent 1099-G (the form used to report unemployment compensation). We recommend being diligent in opening your mail the day it is received and if you receive an unexpected 1099-G, report it immediately.

Original article published on 12/18/2020:

We have recently become aware of a large-scale scam attempt to file fraudulent unemployment claims and wanted to make our clients and valued partners aware.  This comes the day after we sent out an email with a variety of information on cyber security, which goes to prove that fraudsters are constantly finding new ways to attempt to trick people, and systems, out of money.

This most recent scam is the filing of fraudulent Ohio unemployment claims on people’s behalf without their knowledge. Although you may not live in Ohio, please be mindful of the possibility of this occurring in other states as well. We have heard from both employees and clients that they have received written notification that a claim was made in their name.  If you receive a letter or email regarding a false claim, below are the three next steps you should take:

1.     Call 1-800-686-1555 (option 1) to report the fraud
2.     Fill out the online fraud report
3.     Ensure credit files are frozen with Experian, Equifax, Transunion, and Innovis (click HERE for clickable links for each credit bureau) 

At present we are unaware of a way to proactively determine whether or not a claim has been made on your behalf; however we will update this article if more information becomes available. For now, we suggest keeping an eye on incoming mail and email; if you receive anything questionable from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, follow the above steps.

A credit freeze is the best way to proactively prevent someone from fraudulently opening credit in your name. We’ve been working with clients to encourage them, and in many cases help them, freeze their credit. We are thankful this has been widely adopted by our clients and that should reduce the amount of fraud our clients fall victim to.

For more on common scams and how Foster & Motley works to protect our clients, read our Cyber Crime During the Holidays article.