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The Northbrook Police Department has seen an increase in unemployment scams and warns residents to be cautious. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a spike in imposters filing claims for unemployment benefits with the names and personal information of people who have not filed claims, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
IDES states that an individual who has not filed an unemployment claim but has received a debit card or an unemployment insurance (UI) filing letter in the mail has most likely been the target of fraud. If this happens to you, it means someone is using your personal information without permission, including your Social Security number, which was likely exposed in a prior cyber hack or data breach, such as the Equifax breach. IDES is working with local and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate, pursue, and prosecute those who are defrauding the unemployment insurance system.
Here are some tips to protect yourself:
If you think you’ve become a victim of identity theft related to fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, here are a few steps to take:
Learn more about these scams and how to prevent them from the FTC and FBI.