Learn About Identity Fraud


Identity Fraud banner​​
NOTE: This information is specifically for unemployment identity fraud. Learn about and report other types of unemployment fraud, including claimant eligibility fraud or employer fraud on the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fraud page on the KCC website.

​​​​​​What is Unemployment Identity Fraud?

Unemployment identity fraud occurs when criminals use other people’s information to illegally receive unemployment benefits – and it’s increasingly common. 

Sometimes criminals use stolen personal information to illegally log into a person’s unemployment account and steal the unemployment benefit payments intended for the real claimant. This is known as “Claim Hijacking” or “Claim/Account Takeover.” People filing for unemployment may become aware of “Claim Hijacking” or “Claim/Account Takeover” when they unexpectedly stop receiving unemployment benefit payments and notice that the bank account or address information on their unemployment claim was changed without their knowledge.​

Many victims who experience unemployment identity fraud only discover it when they get something in the mail, like a notice from a state unemployment agency or a state-issued 1099-G tax form reporting unemployment benefits that they never requested or received. 

Warning Signs of Unemployment Identity Fraud

According to the U.S. Department of Labor you may be a victim of unemployment identity fraud if:

  • A government agency sends you mail about an unemployment claim or payment and you did not recently file for unemployment benefits. This could include receiving requests to verify your identity for unemployment benefits, receiving letters notifying you of an unemployment claim filed in your name, or receiving unexpected payments or debit cards. The mail could be from any state even if you never lived or worked there.
  • You receive a 1099-G tax form reflecting unemployment benefits you weren't expecting and did not receive. This link provides a sample 1099-G from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website: IRS form Certain Government Payments 1099-G. Box 1 may show unemployment benefits you did not receive (or more benefits than you received). Or the 1099-G may be from a state where you haven’t lived, worked, or filed for benefits.
  • While you are still employed, you receive a notice from your employer indicating that they received a request for information about an unemployment claim in your name.
  • While you are receiving unemployment, you learn your payments were sent somewhere else although you did not authorize a change to your unemployment account. “Claim Hijacking” or “Claim/Account Takeover” occurs when someone illegally accesses your unemployment account and redirects your benefits to a different bank account or address.​

Reporting Unemployment Identity Fraud

​​If you discover that you are a victim of UI identity fraud in the commonwealth of Kentucky and you believe someone has filed a UI claim in your name (i.e. you received a 1099-G form that indicates you received UI benefits but you never filed for UI), please​ ​visit this webpage ​and complete the form​, selecting the "Identity Fraud" option. ​Additionally:

Additional tips from the U.S. Department of Labor

When you file your income taxes, ONLY include income you actually received

  • Do not wait to receive a corrected 1099-G to file your taxes.
  • Do not wait for the state’s investigation to conclude before filing your taxes.
  • Do not report the incorrect 1099-G income on your tax return.
  • If you already filed your taxes, do not file an amended return. The IRS will issue additional guidance regarding your next steps. Find updates and additional tax filing information from the IRS here.

Check your credit report for suspicious activity or unauthorized lines of credit opened 

By law, you can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Also, through December 2022, you can get a free credit report each week from each of the credit bureaus. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 877-322-8228 to get your free reports. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity. You can also visit Free Credit Reports on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to learn more about credit reports.

  • Consider freezing your credit. It’s the best way you can protect against having new accounts opened in your name. Learn more about credit freezes and fraud alerts on the FTC website here.​​

Additional actions to consider:

  • Change passwords on your email, banking, and other personal accounts. Make a list of credit card companies, banks, and other financial institutions where you do business. Tell them you are a victim of identity fraud and ask them to put a fraud alert on your account. Get a copy of your credit report and dispute any fraudulent transactions. You can request credit reports online from the three major credit reporting agencies:

Equifax: 800-349-9960 or https://www.equifax.com/personal/

Experian: 888-397-3742 or https://www.experian.com/

TransUnion: 888-909-8872 or https://www.transunion.com/

  • Place a credit freeze with each of the 3 major credit-reporting agencies by calling the agencies or freezing your credit online.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit file. You can do this by contacting just one of the credit agencies to add an alert with all three agencies.
  • If you suspect that someone is using your Social Security Number for work purposes, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to report the problem. They will review your earnings with you to ensure they are correct. You can also review earnings posted to your social security statement www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement for workers 18 and older.

Now that I have reported identity fraud, what's next?

Reminder for those receiving unemployment benefits: Report your benefits when you file your tax return
The IRS reminds taxpayers that unemployment benefits are taxable, and they should watch their mail for a Form 1099-G. In some states, taxpayers may be able to receive the Form 1099-G by visiting their state's unemployment website where they signed up for account benefits to obtain their account information.

Starting in January 2021, unemployment benefit recipients should receive a Form 1099-G, CertainGovernment Payments​ from the agency paying the benefits. The form will show the amount of unemployment compensation they received during 2020 in Box 1, and any federal income tax withheld in Box 4. Taxpayers report this information, along with their W-2 income, on their ​2020 federal tax return. For more information on unemployment, see Unemployment Benefits in Publication 525​.​

For more information about 1099-G’s and taxes owed to the IRS each year for benefits received, visit this web​page. ​The IRS also has Web resources available here​ and here.

mation for employers

Protecting your business and employees from ID fraud
Identity fraud is on the rise in both the private and public sectors. The growing problem of committing unemployment fraud using stolen IDs not only affects the victims - those who have had their personal information compromised - but it also can have a negative effect on an employer’s tax rate.

Identity fraud occurs when someone uses another person’s information to take on his or her identity. Identity fraud can include wage and employment information as well as credit card and mail fraud. In the case of unemployment benefits, it could mean using another person’s information such as name, Social Security Number, and employment information.

As employers, you can help save millions of dollars in fraudulent payments by identifying suspected fraud. In many cases, you may be the first to have information that unemployment fraud is occurring.

Individual: Identity Fraud

If you suspect that identity thieves have used your personal information, or the personal information of one of your employees to file a false UI claim, it is essential that you act fast to help OUI stop an imposter claim.​

What you can do to protect your employees from fraud and lessen the impact on your tax rate

Review Your Employer Notices

Verify Social Security Numbers at the time of hire, to ensure that your employees’ names and Social Security Numbers (SSN’s) match the Social Security Administration’s records. Visit the SSA at www.ssa.gov/employer​ to verify names and SSN’s online.

​UI benefits paid to your current employees represent a charge to your account and may impact your tax rate. To protect your account, carefully review all notices received in your SIDES account or by mail. When an employee files a claim for unemployment, employers will receive a Request to Employer for Separation Information, by mail and online via their SIDES account. The monetary determination will contain information about the employee and the reason for separation and more. If you notice inaccurate information, or if the employee referenced is still working for you, it is very important that you notify the Office of Unemployment Insurance.


Watch the Kentucky Career Center's video on security tips to protect your personal information.

Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself from identity fraud:​

  • Secure your Social Security number (SSN). Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Only give out your SSN when necessary.
  • Don't share personal information (birthdate, Social Security number, or bank account number) because someone asks for it.
  • Collect mail every day. Place a hold on your mail when you are away from home for several days.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles tooltip . If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
  • Use the security features tooltip on your mobile phone.
  • Update sharing and firewall settings tooltip when you're on a public Wi-Fi network tooltip . Use a virtual private network (VPN) tooltip , if you use public Wi-Fi.
  • Review your credit card and bank account statements. Compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
  • Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired credit cards. This can prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.
  • Store personal information in a safe place.
  • Install firewalls and virus-detection software tooltip on your home computer.
  • Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess. Change your passwords if a company that you do business with has a breach of its databases
  • Review your credit reports tooltip once a year. Be certain that they don't include accounts that you have not opened. You can order it for free from Annualcreditreport.com.

If your identify has been stolen you should create a report with the Federal Trade Commission. To do this, you can fill out a report online or call 877-438-4338. Additionally, contact local law enforcement. When working with law enforcement, bring a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report, a government-issued photo ID, proof of your current address, and any proof that your identity has been used for identity theft — such as collections notices. You can also file an online complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.​​​

Archived Bulletins

Unemployment Insurance Fraud Alert
JANUARY 28, 2021 - WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers who receive Forms 1099-G for unemployment benefits they ​​did not actually get because of identity theft to contact their appropriate state agency for a corrected form. More

​​January 15, 2021

Be Aware of Suspicious Emails!
The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance is aware of fraudulent emails soliciting payments to work UI claims.

Please be advised that at no time will a Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance staff member ask you to pay any amount of money to work your unemployment insurance claim.​

Fraud Alert from the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Labor
Be aware that your personal information may be used fraudulently without your permission. Fraudsters are perpetrating numerous schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In one scheme, scammers have offered to help individuals file claims for unemployment benefits. The scammers then ask for personal information including social security numbers and dates of birth. The scammers may ask you to provide payment, or your credit card information, in assisting you in filing or qualifying for your unemployment benefits. You do not need to pay anyone to file or qualify for your benefits. Victims of these scams face potential harm. The personal information the scammers collect may be used to commit identity fraud to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.

Unsolicited calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits are several ways that individuals have been targeted.

If you would like to report an allegation of fraud involving unemployment insurance or other U.S. Department of Labor activities or programs, please contact the OIG Hotline at: https://www.oig.dol.gov/hotline.htm​ or 202-693-6999 or 1-800-347-3756.​