The rising unemployment population due to the COVID-19 pandemic is being exploited by international fraudsters that have been using stolen data to file and collect false unemployment claims. According to an alert issued by the Secret Service, it is estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid out in fake claims.
The university is one of many employers that has been targeted by criminal enterprises filing fraudulent unemployment claims using stolen personal information. These fraudulent unemployment claims continue to be investigated by federal and local law enforcement. The university is working diligently with the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) to help identify and mitigate the fraudulent activity.
Please note: there has not been a breach of information at the University of Michigan.
The University of Michigan Unemployment Compensation Office has recently received several claims for unemployment benefits submitted to the State of Michigan UIA using names and social security numbers of our employees.
When it is determined that the individual is not unemployed, the university reports the claim as fraud related to potential identity theft with the State of Michigan UIA and notifies the employee via email.
If you are notified or believe you are a victim of fraud, the State of Michigan UIA and federal law enforcement recommend the following actions to help protect and recover your identity:
- Report the fraudulent claim to the State of Michigan UIA
- File a police report with your local police department or with the University of Michigan DPSS by calling 734-763-1131.
Review the Federal Trade Commission website for step-by-step directions on what to do first for stolen identity and how to make a recovery plan.