Report Fraud


ALERT | 1.15.2021 | 9:00 a.m.

If you received a 1099-G tax form but did not request benefits in 2020, or received a 1099 with incorrect information, please visit the Tax Form 1099-G page or more information.
 

With the rise in unemployment insurance claims associated with COVID-19, nationally there has been a rise in fraudulent claims and other instances of fraud or identity theft. If you receive a Reliacard debit card or other paperwork from CDLE and have not filed a claim, report it to us via the form below and follow the five steps we have outlined. Use this same form if you have received any paperwork to your mailing address that was sent to someone else other than those in your household.

Protect Yourself Against Fraud and Identity theft 
Never give out personally identifiable information over the phone. We will never contact you and ask for your social security number (SSN), bank account numbers, your PIN, account passwords, or any other personally identifiable information.

Did You Receive Unemployment Paperwork or a Debit Card Without a Claim?

If you received unemployment paperwork but did not file a claim, or otherwise believe you are a victim of identity theft related to unemployment benefits, please click here to submit an Identity Theft report. Additionally, there are several recommended steps to follow:

  • If you received a U.S. Bank Reliacard for Colorado unemployment benefits but did not file a claim, fill out the U.S Bank Form or contact U.S. Bank immediately at 1-855-282-6161. Tell them that a fraudulent unemployment claim was filed using your information, and ask them to deactivate the card.
     
  • Contact the three consumer credit bureaus and put a fraud and identity theft alert on your name and Social Security number (SSN). It may be an automated system, so you may not talk to a live person and you will have to enter your SSN and date of birth.

    Credit Bureau Contact Info: Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 | Experian: 1-888-397-3742 | TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

    I'm an Individual Reporting Identity Theft

It is important to regularly review your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus. Each will look different and may contain different information. If you discover any incorrect or fraudulent information on your credit report, you should dispute it with the credit bureau directly. Normally, you can receive one free copy of your credit report each year from each credit bureau. Due to increased fraud and identity theft during the COVID-19 pandemic, each of the three credit bureaus is offering free weekly credit reports via annualcreditreport.com

 

  • You can also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov. The FTC's website includes valuable resources about how to recover from identity theft and protect your identity.
     
  • Lastly, create a file where you can keep any records relating to this identity theft in one central place, in case you are notified of other fraud or breaches of your personal information.

FAQs for Claimants

What should I do if my identity was used to file a fraudulent claim? (received a reliacard or mail from CDLE)

If you received unemployment paperwork but did not file a claim, or otherwise believe you are a victim of identity theft related to unemployment benefits, please submit a fraud report.

Additionally, there are several recommended steps to follow:

  • Fill out the U.S Bank Form or contact U.S. Bank immediately at 1-855-282-6161. Tell them that a fraudulent unemployment claim was filed using your information, and ask them to deactivate the card.
     
  • Contact the three consumer credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number (SSN). It may be an automated system, so you may not talk to a live person and you will have to enter your SSN and date of birth.
               
                Credit Bureau Contact Info:

                Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
                Experian: 1-888-397-3742
                TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
     
I’m an employer who received a request for job separation information for an active employee. What should I do?

When a claim is filed using the stolen identity of one of your employees, you receive a questionnaire by email or U.S. mail requesting information about the job separation. If your employee is still employed, and they state they did not file a claim, please complete the questionnaire as soon as possible.

The employee in question should complete the following steps:

  1. Submit a Fraud Report with us
     
  2. Next, deactivate the U.S. Bank immediately at 1-855-282-6161. Then, fill out the U.S Bank Form
     
  3. Next you’ll want to contact the three consumer credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number (SSN).
                Credit Bureau Contact Info:
                Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
                Experian: 1-888-397-3742
                TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
     
  4. Create a file where you can keep records of fraud.
     
I submitted a fraud report. What are some steps I can take in the meantime?
  • It is important to regularly review your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus. Each will look different and may contain different information. If you discover any incorrect or fraudulent information on your credit report, you should dispute it with the credit bureau directly. Normally, you can receive one free copy of your credit report each year from each credit bureau. Due to increased fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic, each of the three credit bureaus is offering free weekly credit reports via annualcreditreport.com.
     
  • You can also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov
     
  • Lastly, create a file where you can keep any records relating to this identity theft in one central place, in case you are notified of other fraud or breaches of your personal information.
     
Are there any other resources to help me recover from identity theft?
  • The FTC's website includes valuable resources about how to recover from identity theft and protect your identity.
  • Read the Attorney General’s Identity Theft Repair Kit English Español and Website
Other Information on Fraud
Employer Fraud

An employer who knowingly makes a false statement, causes a false statement to be made as to the reason for a job separation, or makes a false offer of work that causes a delay in the proper payment of unemployment benefits to a claimant is committing an act of fraud. An employer who commits this type of fraud is charged with one and one-half times the amount of unemployment benefits that should have been paid to the claimant during the period of delay and with 100 percent of the amount of all other unemployment benefits made to the claimant thereafter during the claimant's benefit year. These penalties are in addition to any civil and criminal prosecution, including court costs and/or fines.



Unemployed Worker Fraud

A person is committing fraud if they knowingly make a false statement or withhold information to receive unemployment benefits payments.

Fraud Includes:

Not reporting or underreporting hours and earnings while working and collecting benefits. Failing to report employment. This includes commission, temporary, 1099 (independent contractor), self-employment, or cash jobs.  Failing to report a job separation.       Fabricating work search efforts or failing to conduct a valid work search.      Failing to report refusals of work. Making a false statement or misrepresentation to receive or increase unemployment payments. (e.g., failing to report school attendance while collecting payments). Using another person's identity (name and/or social security number) to work and file for unemployment payments. Helping someone file a fraudulent unemployment claim.Failing to report other types of compensation (e.g., Workers' Compensation benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance).     Failing to report being unable and unavailable to work (e.g., ill or injured, out of area, on vacation, etc.) while collecting unemployment payments. They knowingly make a false statement or withhold information to receive unemployment benefits payments.

 

Penalties

Working while receiving benefit payments may result in a person being charged with theft, which includes a mandatory, monetary penalty of 65% of the total amount overpaid. In addition, a 4-week penalty can be assessed for each week in which the person fraudulently requested payment. Penalty weeks must be served on an active claim for which you are filing for benefits. While serving penalty weeks, benefits will not be paid and no money will be offset toward the overpaid amount. These penalties are in addition to any civil and criminal prosecution, including court costs and/or fines.
 

Convictions

Criminal convictions in fraud cases often result in court-ordered restitution to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Most convicted individuals make regular payments through the registry offices of the district courts.

Did you receive a SIDES Request?

When a claim is filed in using the identity of one of your employees, you receive an email from the UI SIDES E-Response Team requesting information about the job separation. If your employee is still employed, and they state they did not file a claim, please complete the SIDES request as soon as possible.

View our Identity Theft Factsheet for Employers

I'm an Employer Reporting Identity Theft

FAQs for Employers

Was there a CDLE data breach?

No, there has been no data breach. Like other states, Colorado continues to see increased unemployment fraud activity. Many Colorado employers are noticing fraudulent unemployment claims being filed in the names of active employees.

Fraud within the Unemployment Insurance programs nationally has become rampant during the Pandemic. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program under the CARES Act has been a relatively easier target, as it does not have the same checks and balances inherent in the state UI system. Colorado was one of the first agencies to begin an aggressive fraud detection and prevention program when this issue began to present itself. To date, CDLE has stopped over 800,000 fraudulent claims, and has likely prevented over $7 billion in fraudulent payments. These are sophisticated criminal rings that use personally identifiable information, including social security numbers, to file claims on behalf of unsuspecting victims. We speculate that the sheer volume of this identity theft is the result of one or several data breaches that have occurred over the past few years, which compromised hundreds of millions of identities. In recent weeks as the Cares Act Unemployment Insurance programs expired, we suspect these fraudsters have shifted their effort to State Unemployment Insurance systems, as we saw large upticks in initial claims.

If someone is notified by their employer that a claim was filed using their information, or if they receive an unemployment debit card in the mail, they are likely a victim of identity theft and should take immediate precautions. While unemployment is relatively harmless to the victim’s credit, these criminals could make other transactions using these identities, which has the potential to cause irreparable damage to the victim’s credit. CDLE is committed to take every possible measure to prevent fraud within the Unemployment system, though it is an uphill battle.

Will my premiums be impacted by fraudulent claims?

If any benefits were paid that would charge against your account prior to the claim being closed as a fraudulent claim, once the claim was closed for the fraudulent activity, your account was re-credited for any benefits that might have been paid.  As such, payment of any of those benefits will not impact your experience rating when your premium rates are calculated.

Is CDLE sending out PII?

Employer correspondence masks an employee’s full SSN, showing the last 4 numbers.

Do I need to appeal these claims/benefit charges?

It is possible you received a decision on a claim that was closed due to fraudulent activity due to a program we used in our old system to try to resolve certain reported issue types that did not recognize when a claim was already closed.  While our hope is to provide documentation at some point that these claims have been closed to reduce confusion and provide certainty to you, you should consider submitting an appeal on any decision you received at this time to ensure the claim is closed for fraudulent activity.

Is the form to report fraud secure?

Per the Google Team within the Governor’s Office of Information Technology:

  • Use of Google forms is a secure process. 
     
  • Transmission of data (data in flight) is secure and encrypted 
    • Between the form to the sheet
    • Via the email submit process to the recipient
       
  • End users within CDLE (and the State at large) use multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized use or logins protecting access to the data storage location.
     

Administratively (internal) CDLE is mindful of:

  • What processes are in place to protect access to the data (Google Sheet) location.  
     
  • Who and how many people have access to the data sheet 
     
  • How is this being overseen/administered.

Communication is being encrypted through Proofpoint.

What do I do with a job separation request for an employee still on payroll?

When a claim is filed using the stolen identity of one of your employees, you receive a questionnaire by email or U.S. mail requesting information about the job separation. If your employee is still employed, and they state they did not file a claim, please complete the questionnaire as soon as possible.

Employees who are the victim of UI fraud should submit a Fraud Report online. They should visit ColoradoUI.gov, click the “I'm an Employer Reporting Identity Theft ” button. Our website also outlines other important steps that employees who are victims of UI fraud should take.

What happens after I submit a report?

After completing the “Submit a Fraud Report” form, the individual will not receive a follow up call or email from CDLE. While the current volume of fraud reports prevents us from following up individually on every report, our fraud investigators have received your report and will take immediate steps to close this fraudulent claim.

We understand how unsettling this experience can be. We take any fraud seriously and work daily with law enforcement and other agencies to investigate and prosecute this behavior. If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to review our tips on protecting yourself against fraud.

Fraud Prosecutions

2020 Quarterly Prosecutions

1st Quarter 2020 Unemployment Fraud Prosecutions

Total restitution ordered: $193,649.22

 
January 2020
Crystal Hayes (Adams County)
Monica Gant (Denver County)
Rainer Thomas (Arapahoe County)
Vanessa Marquez (Adams County)
Kevin Hahn (Boulder County)
Vance Holliday, Jr. (Adams County)
Heidi Hoffman-Wall (Arapahoe County)
 
February 2020
Marie Chusid (Jefferson County)
Susie Hernandez (Denver County)
Martin Molina-Cano (Adams County)
Anthony Castro, Sr. (Adams County)
 
March 2020
Gerry Cordova (Adams County)
Eric Garner (Arapahoe County)
James Bird (Adams County)
Marr Doss (Arapahoe County)
Catherina Vigil(Arapahoe County)
 

2019 Quarterly Prosecutions

1st Quarter 2019 Unemployment Fraud Prosecutions

Total restitution ordered: $162,985.40

January 2019

Matthew Brown (Larimer County)
Matthew Sullivan (Arapahoe County)                    

 

February 2019

Ernie Martiniez (Weld County)  
Matthew Brown (Weld County)
Raul Vigil (Adams County)

 

March 2019  

Brandon Vester (Delta County)
Shane Marks (Denver County)
John Broom (Douglas County)
Isidro Moralez (Pueblo County)
Damian Sifuentez (Weld County)

2nd Quarter 2019 Unemployment Fraud Prosecutions

Total restitution ordered: $160,268.59.


April 2019

Jeffrey Tunley (Arapahoe County)
Joe Morales (Weld County)
Cala Martinez (Arapahoe County)
Larnell Holt (Denver County)
Sergio Ahumada (Adams County)
Charitie Bridges (Adams County)      
Peggy Henry (Larimer County)

 

May 2019

Kenneth Quenzer (Weld County)  
Kalandra Woolboy (Denver County)

 

June 2019  

Christopher Parker (Weld County)
Glenn Jackson, Jr. (Arapahoe County)
Latisha Vaughns (Arapahoe County)
Jeffrey Bastian (Denver County)
Kris Cambria Link  (Douglas County)
Angelica Montes (Arapahoe County)

3rd Quarter 2019 Unemployment Fraud Prosecutions

Total restitution ordered: $400,237.86


July  2019

Jason Sisneros (Alamosa County)
Terry Boo (Montezuma County)
Jason Carpenter (El Paso County)
Gerald Salinas Pueblo  County)
Michael Brumfield (Denver  County)
Roxanne Velasquez (Arapahoe  County)
Joshua Lewis (Denver  County)

 

August 2019

William Ruth (Fremont  County)  
Matthew West (El Paso County) 
Carly Tan (Adams  County)
Roque Elizondo (Las Animas  County)
Vanessa Achambeault (Douglas  County)
Jennel Anderson (Arapahoe  County)

 

September 2019  

Gunther Boldt (Garfield  County)
Tamarin Sessom (Douglas  County)
Anthony Curlyhair, Jr.  (Montezuma  County)
Jorge Centeno (Boulder  County)
Katrina Ptak (Douglas  County)
Julio Garcia (Arapahoe  County)
Andrew Sweet (Jefferson  County)
Elizabeth Williams (Attorney General's Office)
Michelle Hernandez (Attorney General's Office)

4th Quarter 2019 Unemployment Fraud Prosecutions

Total restitution ordered: $280,428.92

October  2019
Manuel Cabello, Jr.  (Jefferson County)
Dwight Evans  (Boulder  County)
Javier Saucedo-Casillas (Denver  County)
Trina Everhart (Arapahoe  County)
Roderick Malone (El Paso  County)
Tajh Nobles (Jefferson  County)
Aaron Arellano (Denver  County)
Anthony Chavez (Adams  County)
Nicholas Black (Jefferson  County)

 

November 2019
Terry Taleck (Boulder  County)
Joseph Herrera (Jefferson  County) 
Peter Rapp (Denver  County)
Christopher Coleman (Denver  County)
Natosha Robinson (Denver  County)
Randolfo Chavez Rios (Larimer  County)

  

December 2019  
Bobby Curry (Adams  County)
Gerald Muhammad (Arapahoe  County)
Anthony Vasquez (Adams  County)
Nicholas Dorn (Arapahoe  County)

2018 Quarterly Prosecutions

3rd Quarter 2018 Unemployment Fraud Prosecutions

Total restitution ordered:$221,616.37

July 2018
Thomas Doremus (Mesa County)
Scott Young Sr. (Weld County)
Starlet Cooper (El Paso County)
William Watson (Denver County)
Cheryl Jones (Arapahoe County)

August 2018
Jason Brown (Denver County)
Juan Espinoza-Cabrera (Arapahoe County)
Nicola Olson (Larimer County)
Shantell Carmona (Denver County)
Meadoe Croker (Mesa County)
Yuliyanna Maksymenko (Arapahoe County)

September 2018
Ashley Knobbs (Denver County)
Jordan Davis(Denver County)
Jesse Hanson (El Paso County)