As many of you may have seen in the news, false unemployment benefits claims are on the rise across the United States. This appears to be a large-scale scam whereby the people behind this effort are filing false unemployment claims under the names of individuals whose jobs have not been impacted in any way. Per the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the individuals behind this scam typically obtain identifying information using a variety of techniques, including the online purchase of stolen personally identifiable information; previous data breaches from businesses, including stores, banks, and other companies; computer intrusions; cold-calling victims while using impersonation scams; email phishing schemes; and physical theft of data from individuals or third parties, and from public websites and social media accounts; among other methods. Given the prevalence of these scams, please know that our Office of Technology Services conducted a review of our systems to confirm that there had not been a breach of data at Illinois Tech, and its review revealed no evidence of a breach.
We felt it was important to notify you about this situation and to provide you with guidance on what to do if this happens to any of you.
Most people learn that a false claim has been filed under their name upon receipt of a notice from a state unemployment benefits office. If you receive a notice about an unemployment claim that you have not filed from any state, it is possible that your personal information has been compromised in some way. Any employee who receives a false claim filed under their name should do the following immediately:
- Report the incident to https://identitytheft.gov, which is managed by the Federal Trade Commission, or call 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357) or TTY 1.866.653.4261. You can also watch this video for more information.
- Report the incident and file an identity theft report with your local police department and/or file Form 14039 with the Internal Revenue Service: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-
- Report the incident to the state in which the imposter claim was filed; such information can be found at https://www.nthurston.k12.wa.
us/cms/lib/WA01001371/ Centricity/Domain/95/Equifax% 20Fraud%20Reporting.pdf.
- Lastly, if the fraudulent claim occurred in Illinois, the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline has several resources to help you, including trained advocates to guide you through the process: 1.866.999.5630; TTY: 1.877.844.5461.
The reporting process for the FTC, your police department, and the state unemployment office requires that the reporting be made by the impacted individual. Neither the university nor the Office of Human Resources are allowed to report these situations on your behalf. The Office of Human Resources does encourage you to still notify us at email@example.com so that we can keep track of these incidents.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.