Unemployment scams costing United States billions of dollars

Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 6:35 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Costing the United States billions of dollars, a new unemployment scam is compromising your identity.

Scammers steal your identity and then use it to file unemployment scams on your behalf. Angela Guth from the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Louisiana says people are either receiving a 1099 form in the mail, or they’re receiving notifications from the Louisiana Department of Labor asking them to confirm their last day of work. It’s something she says is a major red flag.

“If you are indeed applying for unemployment benefits, make sure you know who you’re talking to. Did you initiate that phone call when you called, let’s say the Louisiana Department of Labor to file for your unemployment benefits? Don’t just take a phone call from anyone. "

She recommends never giving out your personal information unless you initiated the email or phone call, but she says under no circumstances should you give out your social security number.

“Once your identity has been compromised, sometimes it’s difficult to regain everything back.”

If your identity has been compromised, she recommends going to creditreport.com and pulling out your annual credit report to monitor your credit history.

If you do receive a 1099 that you did not do, she says to call the Louisiana Department of Labor immediately to file a fraud claim.

“Especially if you get any kind of notice your employer gets a notice on you where anything has been filed, and you’re actually working. You need to take measures and protect yourself immediately. Contact your bank, what if your financial information has been compromised, you’ll need to contact your bank and set up some transaction alerts to make sure nothing’s coming out of your account.”

For more information on scams in our area, click HERE.

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