I am cautioning anyone that had their information compromised to be vigilant about your credit as clearly someone has your social security number and birthdate and may try another attempt in a different area. If you are concerned, there are preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.
In the case of unemployment benefits fraud, report to the NY State Dept of Labor as it is the most efficient way to report ID theft. You can complete the online reporting form at on.ny.gov/uifraud. No further action needs to be taken once the form is completed and submitted by the employee. Employees might still receive correspondence which may even include a bank card. Once reported those letters can be ignored, and the bank card can be shredded. If you have specific questions about your situation, please contact me and I will help guide you to the appropriate agencies.
For other types of identity fraud, there are more steps you can take. The Federal Trade Commission has set up a website for reporting and recovering from identity theft- https://www.identitytheft.gov/
Other suggestions include:
- Consider freezing your credit.
A credit freeze is the best way you can protect against an identity thief opening new accounts in your name. We recommend setting up a free credit freeze if an identity thief has used your information to claim unemployment insurance benefits.
A credit freeze:
- Stops most access to your credit report unless you lift or remove it.
- Is free to place and remove.
- Lasts until you lift or remove it.
- Will require you to take a few extra steps the next time you apply for credit.
- Set a credit freeze by contacting each of the three credit bureaus
Credit bureau contact information:
- If you decide not to place a credit freeze, place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Place a free, one-year fraud alert by contacting one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
- A fraud alert is free. It will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. When you have an alert on your report. a business must verify your identity before it issues a new credit in your name. You can renew the fraud alert after one year.
- Get your free credit reports and review them for fraud.
- Get your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
- Review your reports for fraud.