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.
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 webpage. The IRS also has Web resources available here and here.
Information 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.