Reporting Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Numerous concerned Illinoisans have made IDES aware of incidents of Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fraud/Identity Theft. If you become a victim of UI Fraud/Identity Theft, you must either contact IDES by phone at (800) 814-0513 or use IDES’ Contact Form to promptly report it. Using both methods of reporting may cause delays in reviewing your case. IDES has partnered with local and federal law enforcement agents, Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Attorney General, State’s Attorney and US Attorney’s Offices to help fight against fraud.

Unemployment Insurance Identity Theft Fraud

Identity thieves and hackers have long known how to use stolen identities to commit fraud – for example, open a new credit card or file a false tax return – and criminals using stolen identities to defraud public assistance programs is not new. In fact, such schemes are so pervasive that federal rules require Illinois to have staff dedicated to preventing and stopping fraudulent activity in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system.

How can I spot unemployment insurance identity theft?

  • You receive a debit card or an unemployment insurance letter (UI Finding) and has not filed a claim for benefits.
  • You are notified by your employer that a claim for benefits has been filed when you have not been separated from employment.
  • You attempt to file a claim online and one already exits.
  • You receive IRS correspondence regarding unreported UI benefits.
  • You receive notice of a State or Federal tax offset.

What steps should I take if I receive a debit card and did not file for unemployment insurance? If you suspect a claim has been submitted using your information, and you have not applied for unemployment insurance benefits in Illinois, take steps as follows:

  • DO NOT DELAY AND ACT QUICKLY
  • Call our Benefit Payment Control Division at (800) 814-0513. Please Note: call volume is high due to an increase in reports of fraud, so please be patient in waiting for your scheduled call back. When prompted: Select English or Spanish language option; Select option #1 for claimants, and; Select option #5 to report identity theft.
  • DO NOT activate the debit card that was mailed to you.
  • DO NOT contact KeyBank.
  • Destroy the card.
  • Request your free credit reports via www.annualcreditreport.com and review them for other fraudulent activities.

What happens after I report the identity theft to IDES?

• In most instances of fraud, IDES’ integrity measures stop the unemployment claim
and prevent payments from being made before hearing from you.
• You will not be held responsible for the fraudulent claim if the investigation finds that you were a victim of identity theft. That is why prompt reporting and not activating the card are critical steps in this process.

What are the consequences for committing UI Fraud?
• Federal Indictment
• State Indictment
• Incarceration
• Fines and penalties
• Inability to draw UI Benefits in the future
• Repayment of fraudulent funds until recovered in full
• Seizure of income tax refunds or payments by the way of Federal and State Offset Programs

IDES Contact Form

To contact IDES via the web, please use our online Contact Form. On the drop down, select the option, “UI Fraud/Identity Theft”. Complete the required fields and DO NOT include social security numbers or other personal identifiable information in the comment section. Be sure to include an email address so that you will receive an autoreply providing important information and steps you can take while you wait to hear back from IDES. We will respond to your email in the order in which it was received. It is not necessary to also contact IDES by phone.

Other Resources

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.

You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Report identity theft online or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261. The FTC operator will give you the next steps to take.

Watch this video from the Federal Trade Commission website to get helpful tips on protecting yourself against identity theft and what to do when your information is lost or exposed.