Unemployment Fraud Cases On the Rise

Over the last week, the Cambridge Police and other agencies in the region have seen a sharp increase in unemployment fraud reports. In these cases, residents have contacted the police department reporting that they’ve received a notice that a claim for unemployment benefits had been filed with the Massachusetts Office of Unemployment Assistance using their personal information. In these cases, the residents had not filed a claim or otherwise sought any assistance from the state. As there has been an increasing number of legitimate unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19, scams involving unemployment assistance have been ongoing during the pandemic. If you receive such a notification, it is important to note that your social security number and other identifying information may have been compromised.

Any Cambridge resident who has been victimized is encouraged to report such incidents to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Unemployment Assistance and any financial institutions they do business with. The Unemployment Fraud Reporting Form is available at: https://www.mass.gov/forms/unemployment-fraud-reporting-form. You can file a report with Cambridge Police by calling (617) 349-3300.

If you believe your identity has been stolen and a fraudulent unemployment claim has been filed on your behalf, here's some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  1. File a police report. Get a copy of the report that you can provide to creditors and credit agencies.
  2. Change passwords on your email, banking, and other personal accounts
  3. 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.
  4. Get a copy of your credit report and dispute any fraudulent transactions. You can request credit reports online from the 3 major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) or by calling (877) 322-8228. 
  5. Place a credit freeze with each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies. Call each of the credit reporting agencies at these phone numbers or visit their websites to freeze your credit.
  6. Place a fraud alert on your credit file. You can do this by contacting just 1 of the credit agencies to add an alert with all 3 agencies.
Page was posted on 10/20/2020 5:03 PM
Page was last modified on 10/20/2020 5:04 PM
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