This is the fourth article in a series on unemployment insurance.
A key aspect of the Idaho Department of Labor’s administration of the state’s unemployment insurance program is safeguarding it against fraud, misuse and malfeasance on the part of employers or individuals. The vast majority of fraud cases are individual claimants who submit ineligible claims for benefits, or those accepting unemployment insurance payments that were paid to them in error, knowingly or not.
The Idaho Department of Labor takes the issues of fraud and overpayment very seriously and actively works to recover money paid out inappropriately.
Question: Are unemployment insurance applications being filed by people who have stolen someone’s identity?
Answer: Yes. Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs. These crime rings possess substantial databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses. The department is working closely with federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General to address fraud.
Spring signals the start of a busy hiring season for landscaping, restaurant and other businesses. New employees, even seasonal and temporary workers, count as new hires and need to be reported.
Idaho’s reporting law requires all Idaho employers to report new employees to the Idaho Department of Labor within 20 days of the date of hire. The date of hire is the first day the employee begins working for wages, not before.