Identity Theft Related to Unemployment Benefits

Fraud & Security
Man on laptop


When the bad actors apply for unemployment, they need a bank account to deposit the funds. They reach out to people, usually online, and try to convince them to disclose their bank account information. They may be someone from an online dating website, someone offering you a job, or someone saying that you have won money or qualify for economic assistance. The bad actors usually tell you to keep a portion of the stolen money and to send the rest of it back to them using money orders, ACH or wire transfers, or by purchasing gift cards and sharing the information.

In addition, it may become apparent that your identity is being used by someone else if the New York State Department of Labor (or the Department of Labor in another State) contacts you in regards to a claim that has been filed in your name. You may even receive debit card(s) from other institutions where accounts have been opened in your name. 

Don’t Be a Money Mule! Be Alert to Identity Theft!

Never give out your bank account information, especially to someone you met online. If someone says they are sending you money but then asks for you to send some back, it’s a scam. That money may be stolen, or it may not even be real. People used as money mules may be held partially or fully responsible for stolen funds.  If you receive deposits into your account that you weren’t expecting, contact HVCU immediately at 845.463.3011.
Unemployment claims filed in your name when you are not unemployed is fraudulent and may subject you to criminal and civil liability.  If you become aware that your identity is being used for fraudulent activity, contact HVCU immediately at 845.463.3011. In addition, you’ll want to contact the New York State Department of Labor and advise them your identity is being used to file fraudulent unemployment claims in your name. Further, if you become aware that accounts have been opened at other financial institutions without your consent, please contact those financial institutions to close those accounts and block any debit cards.

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