Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fraud

​​​​​Security Tips to Protect Your Personal Information Video - ​


Report UI Fraud

US Department of Labor Launches Website for Victims of Unemployment Fraud

The U.S. Employment and Training Administration launched a website in 2021 to help people whose identities were stolen and used to fraudulently file for unemployment benefits report unemployment identity theft.​


en español:​

If you know of anyone collecting unemployment insurance benefits while working, while unable to work or when he or she is not eligible to receive these benefits, please anonymously use the ​following Report UI Fraud form​​.

To file a report of identity theft you may call your local state police post. Locations can be found here:  http://kentuckystatepolice.org/post-locations/.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s website​ provides helpful information and resources on identity theft.


Be Aware of Suspicious Emails!

January 15, 2021

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.

This is a 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 theft 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.​


If you think, 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), report the identity theft fraud to all of the following entities:

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 theft 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.
  • The Kentucky Attorney General’s website provides helpful information and resources on identity theft.


For more information about 1099-G’s and taxes owed to the IRS each year for benefits received, visit this webpage.

Visit the IRS website on Employment-Related Identity Theft if you think you have been a victim of identity theft.


Individual: Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's information—including wage, employment, and credit card information—to take on his or her identity. Identity thieves can also use another person’s name, Social Security Number, and employment information to illegally file UI claims and collect UI benefit payments.

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.

Employer: Protecting your business and employees from ID theft

Identity theft 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 theft occurs when someone uses another person’s information to take on his or her identity. Identity theft 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.

Claimant Fraud

Examples of Claimant Fraud

  • Returning to work, but continuing to collect UI benefits without reporting your work wages.
  • Not reporting wages during the week that the work was performed.
  • Working a temporary or part-time job but not reporting your work and wages.
  • Withholding information or providing false information to OUI​
  • Help others claim benefits that they are not entitled to;
  • Withholding information from OUI;
  • Reporting inaccurate hours and earnings;
  • Collecting benefits based on false or inaccurate information that you provided;
  • Claiming benefits while unable or available for work;
  • Claiming benefits without looking for work;
  • Claiming benefits under the identity of someone else.

​Claimants can prevent fraud by following these guidelines:

  • Accurately reporting the reason you are unemployed.
    Accurately report your reason for separation from your job when you initially file your claim for benefits. After a claim is filed, the separating/most recent employer is sent a Notice of Claim Filing and Request for Separation Information.
  • Report any wages you have earned
    You must report your gross wages (earnings before taxes and other deductions) for each week you work and claim unemployment benefits, even if you have not actually been paid for the work. This includes part-time or temporary work. OUI utilizes a quarterly wage cross-match system. The cross-match compares benefits paid to wages reported by employers under the same social security number during the same quarter.
  • Report when you are not able or available to seek or accept work
    You must be physically able and available to perform some type of work (even if it is not your regular field of work). Notify OUI if you are not ready, willing, and able to work (e.g., out of the area, on vacation, sick, suffering total disability) while collecting UI benefits. This is self-reported during your weekly certification.
  • Avoid errors and ensure proper payment of benefits
    To prevent errors that may result in an overpayment, read all of the information in the Rights and Responsibility booklet
  • Stop claiming unemployment benefits as soon as you begin working
    As soon as you begin working, simply stop filing a weekly claim. Do not wait until you receive your first paycheck.
  • Actively search for work
    (Requirement is currently suspended) – Claimants are required to conduct an active search for work for each week you claim UI benefits, unless you are notified you are exempt. You are required to make a minimum of one new verifiable job search a week.
  • Know your responsibilities and ask for help
    Navigating through the UI system can be confusing. Do not risk losing your benefits because you do not know your rights and responsibilities. If you have a question, UI customer service representatives are here to help. Call UI Assistance Line 502-564-2900 service hours are available Monday through Friday, excluding some national holidays.

Employer Fraud

Examples of Employer Fraud
  • Helping another person file a false claim;
  • Paying employees secretly, off the record, or not properly reporting their wages to DEW;
  • Not reporting when you hire new employees;
  • Reporting incorrect start dates for employees
  • Misclassifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying UI contributions;
  • Failing to report, or inaccurately reporting employee wages;
  • Paying employees secretly, or off-the-books or under-the-table;
  • Shifting workers between employer payrolls to use a lower UI contribution rate;
  • Providing false information to prevent a claimant from getting benefits;
  • Failing to pay UI taxes;
  • Failing to file reports;

Employers can prevent fraud and help strengthen the integrity of the UI program by taking the following actions:

  • Proper Classification of Workers
    For the purpose of unemployment insurance, an employer must classify its workers as either employees or independent contractors. Employers are required to pay unemployment tax on employees' earnings but not on independent contractors. In the event a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor, taxes will not have been paid and the worker's wages will not have been reported. A wage and liability investigation of the employer would be initiated by OUI to determine proper classification. If misclassification is determined, the employer may be liable for payment of all back taxes, with interest and penalties.
  • Review Quarterly Statements of Benefit Charges
    At the end of each quarter, most employers receive a copy of all UI benefits charged against their account for that quarter. Please review all benefit charges carefully. Benefit charges will affect your unemployment tax rate at a later date. If you disagree with any of the benefit charges or find any errors, you must protest the charges within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed. You may submit your protest online using Kentucky's Unemployment Insurance Self-Service website located here.
  • Respond to Notice of Claim Filing and Request for Separation Information
    When a former employee files for UI benefits, you have the opportunity to supply information to OUI regarding the reason the individual is now unemployed. You must respond to the department within 10 calendar days of receiving the notification in order to prevent a former employee from wrongfully receiving UI benefits.
  • Provide accurate wage information
    Providing OUI with accurate wage information for your workers ensures that individuals are paid the correct amount of UI benefits.
  • Refrain from engaging in tax manipulation schemes.

    Under the experience rating system, employers pay unemployment taxes at rates proportionate with claims activities by their employees. Employers with high unemployment activity pay higher unemployment tax rates, and employers with lower activity pay less. Employers who engage in SUTA Dumping or other tax manipulation schemes to avoid paying their fair share unfairly shift their costs to other employers.


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 us.