Identity Theft Through Unemployment Scams Are On The Rise in Illinois

  • Estate Planning
  • Guardianships
identity theft through unemployment scams are on the rise in Illinois | estate and probate legal group

At Estate and Probate Legal Group, we always want to share important information with you. Scams often hit older adults or younger generations that aren’t used to spotting a scam. But what happens when you are scammed without any notice? Identity theft through unemployment scams is on the rise in Illinois. And no one is immune from this; even the Attorney General of Illinois was a target. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul was the target of an unemployment insurance fraud scam where scammers apply for unemployment benefits in your name, which is quickly growing across Illinois.

Identity Theft Through Unemployment

One of the fastest-rising scams is an organized crime group using your stolen identity to file unemployment claims. The people will file a claim with the unemployment office but route the payments to their bank accounts.

It can often go unnoticed by the victim for quite some time. But there are red flags if you know what to watch for. The IRS gives us some warning signs that you may be a victim of unemployment identity theft:

  • If you receive mail about an unemployment claim or payment when you have not filed for it.
  • On your taxes, if you receive Form 1099G with the box filled in with the unemployment claims amount.
  • While you’re still employed, if your boss informs you that they received a request for unemployment information.

While you may not instantly see the painful ramifications of this scam, such as no money missing from your bank account, there will still be problems. Unemployment money is considered income, and you can be charged taxes on it. Also, if you file for unemployment in the future, these false claims may hinder help when you need it.

“In a lot of cases, it’s small time actors on a local level, but sometimes it’s international actors. So sometimes its difficult to crack, but we’ve been successful.”

– Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

What To Do If You Have Been Scammed

Unfortunately, you will probably never see the scammer go to jail, but there are ways you can clear your record. Do you feel you have been a victim of an unemployment identity scam? Then take action immediately.

  • Report this scam to the Department of Justice in the state where the false unemployment claim was filed.
  • Also, report it to the US DOJ and the National Center for Disaster and Fraud.
  • When you file your taxes, only file your actual income amount, not including the fraudulent amount.

If your identity has been stolen through this unemployment scam, you will also want to check your credit scores, making sure accounts and credit cards have not been opened in your name.

If you are over 50 years old, there are free online tech classes to teach everyone how to browse the web and use email safely. Digital Skills Ready at 50+ is one course to take.

Talk to our adult guardianship attorneys if you have a vulnerable family member who you think is susceptible to financial text scams.

DuPage and Cook County Guardianship Attorney

Are you worried someone you care about may have been scammed and needs safeguards? Call us to schedule a consultation with the experienced guardianship attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group. Call us at 630-864-5835.

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.