Washington(WA) State Unemployment Scam: Employment Security Department Imposter Tax Fraud
To find out how to report employer tax fraud, click here.
Report Unemployment Fraud
Use ESD secure fraud reporting form to alert them to an imposter claiming benefits under your name. Fraud reporting form. This fraud-reporting is for Washington State only.
Information you will need to provide when reporting benefit fraud:
- Your full name
- Last 4 numbers of your Social Security number (never put your full SSN in an email)
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- Brief description of how you found out an imposter-fraud claim was filed using your information
- Please let us know: If an imposter-fraud claim was filed using your information, do you give us permission to deny and cancel it?
Steps you can take if you believe you are a victim of fraud:
Fraud can also be reported by phone to the Office of Special Investigations.
Please note: The ESD are receiving an extremely high number of calls and the fastest way to report fraud is with the form above.
Fax: 833-572-8423 (Western Washington)
Employers can report fraud on behalf of their employees by:
- Download the Benefit Fraud Employer Reporting Template
- Enter the requested information for the affected employees
- Complete the form and upload the template on our Employer Fraud Reporting Page.
Download an informational poster for your workplace in English and Spanish.
Questions & answers
Q. What is identity theft?
Identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers. Criminals use this information to impersonate someone else, usually for financial gain.
Q. What is unemployment imposter fraud?
When someone illegally files an unemployment claim using another person’s personal and employment information.
Q. What should I do if I suspect I’m a victim of unemployment imposter fraud?
If you have reason to believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits using your information, report it immediately to ESD. If you are a victim:
- You will not have to repay the money.
- You will still be able to apply for unemployment benefits it you need to.
Q. What is ESD doing to prevent unemployment imposter fraud?
ESD works with other states and the federal government to cross match data to detect fraud. ESD also has hired additional fraud investigators and continues to use standard and creative information security practices.
Q. How can I avoid unemployment scams?
- Be aware of false websites. Use only ESD’s official website: ESD.WA.GOV.
- Applying for unemployment benefits is free. ESD will never ask for a payment to process your claim.
- Be wary of solicitors asking for your personal information online or by phone. ESD will ask you for information through official correspondence and through your ESD eServices account. If we call you, you can ask the agents to identify themselves.
Q. What should I do if I’m a victim of identity theft?
- Go to the Attorney General’s Recovering from identity theft or fraud web page and follow the instructions.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at identitytheft.gov or call 877-ID-THEFT. In addition, the FTC recommends that you:
- File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports periodically to ensure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- Request your free credit reports via annualcreditreport.com and review them for other fraudulent activities.
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