What do I tell my employee to do? They are concerned their identity has been compromised.

In addition to the actions that Thomas & Company will take to notify the state, the impacted employee should also take action to mitigate their risk. At best, their identity was only used to file for unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, in some cases, their identify may be used in other ways and they need to take actions to protect themselves and their identity from further harm.  By following the guidelines that Thomas & Company has outlined with assistance from the various governmental agencies, they can quickly take actions to protect their identity from further harm. Please feel free to share this information with any impacted team member.

It is recommended that the team member contact the state agency in question to report that their identity has been used to claim unemployment benefits. Filing a claim with another person’s identity is a felony and is subject to prosecution. Therefore, the agency would like to obtain additional information for their case file. If our office receives a fraudulent claim, we will file a response to indicate that the team member is job attached and has not filed a claim for benefits. We will also monitor the employer’s account to ensure there are no erroneous charges associated with the claim.

The team member is also encouraged to review the Federal Trade Commission website (https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/unemploymentinsurance) for additional information and guidance related to identity theft. Recommended actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Contact bank and credit card companies.
  • Communicate with the IRS (https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/identity-theft-and-unemployment-benefits).
      • There is no requirement to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. A Form 14039 should be filed only if the taxpayers' e-filed tax return is rejected because a duplicate return with their Social Security number is already on file or if the IRS instructs them to file a Form 14039.
      • Taxpayers who were victims of an unemployment benefits identity theft scheme should consider opting into the IRS Identity Protection PIN program. An IP PIN is a six-digit number that helps prevent thieves from filing federal tax returns in the names of identity theft victims. The IP PIN is a voluntary program open to any taxpayer who can verify his or her identity. See details at Get an IP PIN.
  • Contact all three of the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) to place a freeze on their credit report.

Identity Theft Protection programs may an additional resource in resolving the UI Fraud claim. If you do not offer an Identity Theft Protection program or your plan does not offer assistance in uncovering the source of the identity theft & assistance in resolving the UI Fraud claim issue, we have partnered with Aura Identity Guard, a leader in identity theft protection, to provide your employees with protection for a low monthly rate.  Aura is unique in that your employee will be assigned a dedicated Case Manager as a single point of contact to assist with:

    1. Contacting the state workforce agency to help resolve the UI Fraud claim.
    2. Determining if they have been a victim of other identity theft and help them resolve it.
    3. Providing ongoing protection from fraud to help achieve personal and financial goals.

For more information about Aura Identity Guard, please visit (identityguard.com/thomasco).