Fraud is a serious crime. Detecting and preventing unemployment insurance fraud is a priority for our agency. Claims are audited regularly to ensure benefits are paid according to state and federal law.
Examples of UI Fraud
There are different types of fraud, and can be committed by you or someone else, like a hacker.
Failing to report money earned while collecting benefits.
Being dishonest about why you are no longer working for a previous employer.
Saying you are able and available when you are ill, traveling, or otherwise unable or unavailable to work.
Reporting that you looked for work when you did not make valid work search efforts.
Someone steals your identity and files a claim on your behalf.
How to Avoid Committing Fraud
Always tell the truth. If you intentionally make false statements or hide information to gain or maintain UI benefits, you are committing fraud.
Report all hours worked and earnings if you work while requesting payment of unemployment benefits.
Contact employers for new work and keep accurate records of your efforts.
Tell us about any job you are offered but decide to turn down.
Tell us right away when you stop working or separate from a job.
When you request benefit payments, tell us any time you are unable and/or unavailable to work (for example, if you are ill or injured, out of the area, on vacation, incarcerated, etc.).
Do not make false statements or be dishonest in order to receive or increase benefits.
Do not use another person’s identity (e.g. name, social security number, address) to work or to file for unemployment benefits.
Do not help someone to fraudulently file a UI claim or request payments.
If you are confused about what you are supposed to do or report, call or email us for clarification at 303-318-9000 (Denver-metro area) or 1-800-388-5515 (outside Denver-metro area).
How to Avoid Identity Theft
Alongside the rise in unemployment insurance claims associated with COVID-19, states saw a corresponding rise in unemployment fraud, identity theft, phishing attacks, hijacked claims, and other scams targeting unemployment claimants. Below, you’ll find tips on how to protect yourself, as well as options to report suspected fraud, identity theft, or a compromised MyUI+ account.
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself against attempts to compromise your MyUI+ account and unemployment claim:
Be careful about requests by phone, text, or email to share personally identifiable information such as your Social Security number, bank account numbers, PIN numbers, or account passwords. Scammers try to obtain personal information in order to file fraudulent claims or hijack your existing claim.
Avoid clicking links in emails and text messages. CDLE will never send you a text message with a link to log into your MyUI+ account.
If you click the link and/or communicate with the hacker, they can hijack your account, change your payment method, and steal your money.
If you have filed an unemployment claim, verify that your address, phone number, email, and payment method are correct and have not been altered before completing each weekly certification.
Do not share your MyUI+ password with anyone. It is always a good idea to monitor your MyUI+ account and make sure your contact and bank information is correct.
How to Report Suspected Fraud/Identity Theft
Please report suspected cases of fraud and identity theft on the Report Fraud page.
Additionally, there are several recommended steps to follow:
- If you use the debit card for unemployment payments, follow the instructions at usbankreliacard.com 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:
Penalties for UI Fraud
Penalties for fraud can include:
Repayment of all UI benefits that you were not eligible to receive.
A 65% monetary penalty fee and interest on top of the benefits you should not have received.
Disqualification from receiving future benefits.
Being convicted of a crime in state and/or federal court.
What We Do to Stop UI Fraud
These are just some of the ways we identify people who are committing fraud:
Enhanced security measures, including identity verification for all new claims, reopened claims and some claim information changes.
Comparing earnings reported by workers and their employers.
Checking state and national databases of recently hired individuals to make sure people are not collecting UI benefits after they start working again.
Verifying job search contacts.
Reviewing union attached status.