HRS has become aware that some employees are receiving letters from the State Employment Security Department (ESD) indicating the employee owes money for an overpayment of unemployment benefit. If employees receive communication from the Employment Security Department regarding an unemployment claim they did not file, they should immediately report the fraud to ESD by going to the Fraud page on the ESD website and using the Fraud Reporting Form. The secure form asks for information including full name, date of birth, SSN, contact information and other relevant information necessary to initiate action. Communication regarding the claim occurs between ESD and the employee.
The Employment Security Department has indicated the employee is not responsible for paying back money paid out as a result of a fraudulent claim. However the ESD system is generating overpayment letters indicating payment is required. These are auto-generated; the employee should report the fraud to ESD but does not need to make repayment.
In addition to reporting the fraud to ESD, recommendations to protect your identity include:
- Go to the FTC identity theft website. This resource has the most current, detailed step by step process for reporting and protecting people from further victimization.
- Request your free credit reports and review them for fraudulent activities.
- Additional steps you should take are provided by the Washington State Attorney General Recovering from Identity Theft or Fraud page.
More information can be found at: