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Unemployment Fraud

Unemployment Fraud in Nevada:

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) is committed to preventing and identifying fraud or fraudulent scams. We encourage Nevadans to remain vigilant and to report fraud or any potential concerns of fraud to DETR.

In April of this year, DETR joined the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force. The Task Force, formed by Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich, is comprised of local, state and federal investigators and prosecutors with significant experience in handling multiple types of fraud complaints and cases related to cybercrime and unemployment insurance among others. DETR is working with local law enforcement, the Attorney General's COVID-19 Fraud Task Force and the Department of Labor to detect, prevent and address fraud.

In Nevada, unemployment fraud is considered a felony and the State will be following up on fraudulent claims up to and including prosecution and other civil remedies afforded under the law.

Reporting fraud in Nevada is done online by using the State’s Fraud Reporting Form which can be utilized by individuals and employers alike. Filers are encouraged to file a report and upload supporting information for their report to the State. Additional information explaining the steps individuals and employers can take should they believe a fraudulent claim has been filed can be found on the State’s fraud flyer 

Scammers behind the PUA fraud appear to be using Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to apply for and receive PUA benefits. In many situations, the victims are unaware that their personal information has been compromised. Some signs that personal information may have been compromised:

  1. For employers - if you receive notification a claim has been filed for one or more of your employees who are still working.

  2. For workers: 

    • Receiving any type of correspondence that you filed an unemployment claim when you did not file a claim for benefits.
    • Receiving an unemployment debit card at your address with someone else’s name.
    • You are told by a current or former employer that a claim has been submitted with your personal information.

How to report fraud as an employer:

  1. Go to www.detr.nv.gov and select the Unemployment Fraud  tab on the left side of the page under “Quick links.” Once on the DETR fraud page, select Report Fraud to DETR located under" I want to.. " DETR will make a note in both the employee claim and in the employer’s record. No changes will be made to the employer’s account. Filers are asked to identify which program they are reporting on - traditional UI, PUA, or both. If needed, the Department may reach out for additional information.

  2. If you receive notice of a fraudulent filing on behalf of someone still employed or who does not work for you, please return your employer verification letter response to the address indicated as soon as possible, write “FRAUD” in big letters across the form indicating that the claim is fraudulent. Sign and date the letter. Include a separate letter on company letterhead with any details of the fraud. Employers registered with UInv should regularly review their online account for benefit filings to verify accuracy of separated employees. If you note a filing that you believe is fraudulent, you may respond through varied channels:

    • electronically through the employer portal, if you are connected to our State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) system;

    • by faxing in your signed and dated verification letter response indicating that the filing is potentially fraudulent to (775) 684-0338 or (702) 486-7987; or

    • by mailing back the verification letter response to either of the mailing addresses indicated on your letter

  3. File a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), at www.ic3.gov on the employee's behalf.

  4. Notify and provide copies of all reports to the employee and inform them what has been reported. Keep a file with the information and timeline.

  5. Provide the below information to the employee.

How to report fraud as an individual 

  1. Go to detr.nv.gov and select the Unemployment  Fraud tab on the left side of the page under “Quick links.” Once on the DETR fraud page, select Report Fraud to DETR located under “I want to…”  Once a report is filed, nothing else is required by the reporting party. DETR will flag the account so payments are not issued. If you have an employer (as opposed to being an independent contractor or “gig worker” receiving PUA payments), it will be noted in your employer’s file as well. Filers are asked to identify which program they are reporting on - traditional UI, PUA, or both. If needed, the Department may reach out for additional information. Additionally, individuals may:

  2. File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), at www.ic3.gov

  3. File an Identity Theft or Personal Identifiable Information Complaint with local law enforcement alleging that your personal information has been compromised and used to file an unemployment compensation claim. As part of this process, your driver’s license or state ID and your Social Security card should be verified.

  4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.identitytheft.gov/.   Click “Get Started.”  Select “I want to report identity theft.”  Select “Government Benefits or IDs.”  The FTC also provides resources for victims of identity theft at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

  5. File a complaint with the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of the Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/.  Click “Submit a Report” under “Report Other Social Security Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.”  You can also call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271. 

  6. Check your credit report for any anomalies. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com and follow the directions provided to request your free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

  7. Do not give out or verify your personal information (e.g., date of birth and social security number) over the phone.  If someone contacts you asking about your personal information and you are unsure whether it is legitimate, hang up, verify the company’s true phone number and contact the company directly.

  8. Optional:   Consider placing a fraud alert with one of the three credit reporting agencies:  Experian, TransUnion or Equifax.  The fraud alert is free and this only needs to be done once. The fraud alert remains on the account for 1 year. You can find contact information for the three credit reporting agencies by visiting the following IRS page https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/employment-related-identity-theft , and scroll down to the bottom of the page, “Steps you should take…”.  Please note that this may make it harder to legitimately apply for credit during this period.

What to do if you receive a debit card you did not apply for:

Constituents who have received a Bank of America card in error should not activate the card. To aid DETR’s internal investigation operations and prevent a fraudulent expenditure of unemployment funds, any person who erroneously receives a Bank of America Card should:

Visit www.detr.nv.gov and  select the Unemployment Fraud tab on the left side of the page under “Quick links.” Once on the DETR fraud page, select Report Fraud to DETR located under " I want to .."  When completing DETR's online fraud report, filers can list the names on the cards and upload a picture of the Bank of America card, that includes the 16-digit number on the front of the debit card, the expiration date, and the individual’s name, along with their phone number. Once you upload the card information and submit the fraud report, you can destroy the cards. DETR will flag the account so payments are not issued. If needed, the Department may reach out for additional information.

Individuals can also visit the Way2Go Card site at https://www.goprogram.com or call (844) 542-1115 for more information about the debit card(s).

General steps to protect yourself against unemployment scams:

  • Never give out your personal information over email or text message.
  • Don’t wire money.
  • Don’t open or respond to unsolicited emails or text messages.
  • Thoroughly review all financial statements for any unusual activity. Immediately contact the company if an item looks suspicious.
  • Shred or destroy credit card statements, bills, insurance papers or bank statements before throwing them out.
  • Do not carry your Social Security Card in your wallet.
  • Be wary of anyone calling to “confirm” personal or financial information. Often, these are criminals trying to obtain those facts under the guise of “confirmation”.
  • Release your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary or when required by law
  • Ask how you can remove unnecessary information or information that is not required for the service you are receiving.
  • Check credit reports, banking information, medical information that may have details that need to be removed or secured
  • Protect and update passwords to your online accounts regularly.
  • When creating passwords and PINS, do not use anything that could be discovered easily by thieves.
  • Memorize all your passwords and PINS.
  • Remove old accounts and passwords that are no longer in use.
  • Use additional security measures provided for your accounts wherever available.
  • When reaching out to DETR or any government entity, keep your personal information safe by making sure you’re only dealing with official state representatives and not scammers preying on your vulnerability during this challenging time.
 

NOTE: DETR may need to call you. If you file a claim, save the following unemployment phone numbers to your phone so you know you’re receiving a legitimate call from DETR:

  • 775-687-7101,
  • 702-486-0185 and
  • 702-486-3387.

Should we need to contact you directly, we will ask you for some personal identification information in order to verify your identity.

Additional resources

Sours: https://detr.nv.gov/Unemployment_Fraud

Report Unemployment Insurance Fraud

This gateway provides the public with a one-stop resource for connecting with state websites and tip hotlines to report potential Unemployment Insurance claimant and employer fraud. Each of the phone numbers and web addresses listed below provide a direct contact to the state to report potential fraud. This information will help states to act quickly to stop the improper payment of unemployment benefits.

What is unemployment insurance fraud?

Employers and claimants can both commit fraud under state unemployment insurance laws.

Employer fraud can include certain actions to avoid tax liability or establishing a fictitious employer account to enable fraudulent claims against that account. Claimant fraud can include knowingly submitting false information; continuing to collect benefits when knowing oneself to be ineligible; not being able and available to work while certifying for benefits under state law; or intentionally not reporting wages or income while collecting full benefits. Additionally, identity theft may result in unemployment insurance fraud that is not the fault of the employer or the identity theft victim.

The state is required and expected to enforce its own unemployment insurance laws.

What are the penalties for unemployment insurance fraud?

All states are required to assess a penalty of not less than 15% of the amount of the fraudulent payment. Other penalties under state unemployment insurance laws generally include criminal prosecution with fines and/or incarceration; required repayment of fraudulently collected benefits; forfeiting future income tax refunds; and/or permanent loss of eligibility for unemployment compensation. Commission of unemployment benefit fraud may also be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice in federal courts under 18 U.S.C § 1341 or other appropriate federal statutes.

How can I report unemployment insurance fraud?

Call the appropriate state fraud hotline listed below.

Sours: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/unemployment-insurance-payment-accuracy/UIFraudReporting
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Thank you for completing and submitting our form.

If you receive notice of a fraudulent filing on behalf of someone still employed or who does not work for you, please return your employer verification letter response to the address indicated as soon as possible, write “FRAUD” in big letters across the form indicating that the claim is fraudulent. Sign and date the letter. Include a separate letter on company letterhead with any details of the fraud. Employers registered with UInv should regularly review their online account for benefit filings to verify accuracy of separated employees. If you note a filing that you believe is fraudulent, you may respond through varied channels:

  • electronically through the employer portal, if you are connected to our State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) system;
  • by faxing in your signed and dated verification letter response indicating that the filing is potentially fraudulent to (775) 684-0338 or (702) 486-7987; or
  • by mailing back the verification letter response to either of the mailing addresses indicated on your letter
     
Sours: https://detr.nv.gov/Page/Fraud_Form_Confirmation
DETR: 217,500 PUA claimants to receive letters of ineligibility

The Nevada Independent

Following a year in which state unemployment agencies across the nation were victims of many fraudulent claims, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) is advising people who received incorrect tax forms for unemployment benefits to immediately notify the agency upon receiving the documents.

One of those is Las Vegas resident Denise Tanata, 46, who first filed a fraud claim to DETR in August when her former employer notified her that they had received a notice from the department of an unemployment claim tied to Tanata’s name.

Despite never filing for unemployment insurance and never receiving benefits, Tanata received a 1099-G form from the state last week indicating that she had received about $800 in compensation.

The state issues 1099-G forms for anyone who received taxable income from a state agency, which includes unemployment benefits. People who were targets of unemployment fraud last year are beginning to receive 1099-G forms from the state, despite the fact that they did not receive any of the payments they are being taxed for.

DETR has disqualified hundreds of thousands of unemployment applications in the last year that were thought to be fraudulent, although the agency has not quantified exactly how many illegitimate claims were approved, or how much money the state has paid out on those phony claims.

Tanata filed another unemployment fraud claim with DETR after receiving a 1099-G form, and said she has not received any communication from the department regarding either of her claims.

“I never got ... a confirmation email, a letter, phone call, anything. And I also tried calling multiple times, and I can never get through,” said Tanata.

While the IRS and DETR have released statements on how to handle receiving an incorrect form, some are still unsure how to proceed.

“I'm just trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. I mean, am I legally supposed to include that on my taxes? Or do I just not include it at all since I didn't actually receive it, but I know that form went to the IRS? Am I going to get audited because of it?” Tanata said. “So those are just things that I'm trying to figure out because I'm trying to do what's right.”

The IRS has advised people to request a revised form 1099-G from their state and to report on their taxes only the income they actually received. DETR has similarly advised individuals who believe they have received an incorrect 1099-G to file a report online with the agency through its unemployment fraud page and to accurately report their income on their taxes.

“We know Nevadans are concerned and have questions regarding these 1099’s. The IRS is aware of the magnitude of this issue,” Lynda Parven, administrator of DETR’s Employment Security Division, said in a press release on Monday. “Our recommendation is for claimants to file their tax returns with their correct information. And we suggest all claims filers keep records of the payments they received, if any. We ask for the public’s patience and cooperation as it will take time for our team to fix and reissue corrected forms to all impacted claimants.”

Sours: https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/victims-of-unemployment-fraud-frustrated-over-potential-taxation-of-benefits-they-did-not-receive

Number detr fraud

Report Unemployment Identity Theft

en español

States have experienced a surge in fraudulent unemployment claims filed by organized crime rings using stolen identities that were accessed or purchased from past data breaches, the majority of which occurred in previous years and involved larger criminal efforts unrelated to unemployment. Criminals are using these stolen identities to fraudulently collect benefits across multiple states.

For information and reporting other types of unemployment fraud, including claimant fraud or employer fraud, visit our Report Unemployment Fraud page.

Signs that you may be a victim of unemployment identity theft

Most victims of unemployment identity theft are unaware that claims have been filed and/or that benefits have been collected using their identities. Many people only find out unemployment identity theft occurred when they receive something in the mail, such as a payment or state issued 1099-G tax form that’s incorrect or for benefits not received.

Sample form from the IRS.gov website: IRS form Certain Government Payments 1099-G

You may be a victim of unemployment identity theft if you received:

  • Mail from a government agency about an unemployment claim or payment and you did not recently file for unemployment benefits. This includes unexpected payments or debit cards and could be from any state.
  • A 1099-G tax form reflecting unemployment benefits you weren't expecting. Box 1 on this form may show unemployment benefits you did not receive or an amount that exceeds your records for the unemployment benefits you did receive. The form itself may be from a state in which you do not live or did not file for benefits.
  • While you are still employed, a notice from your employer indicating that your employer received a request for information about an unemployment claim in your name.

Reporting unemployment identity theft

  1. Report unemployment identity theft to the state where it occurred. Use the State Directory for Reporting Unemployment Identity Theft, below, to report it to the state.
    • You may not receive an immediate confirmation from the state when you submit a report. Time estimates for how long this process takes vary by state.
    • The state may require additional documentation (like filing a police report or a sworn affidavit) in order to open an investigation; they will review your case and make a determination. Each state has different requirements and a different process for investigating identity theft.
    • If you received a 1099-G tax form for benefits you didn’t receive, the state will need to issue you a corrected 1099-G tax form and will update the tax record with the IRS on your behalf.
  2. When you file your income taxes, ONLY include income you actually received. Do not wait to receive a corrected 1099-G to file your taxes.
    • The processing of your tax return should not be delayed while your report of unemployment identity theft is under investigation.
    • If you have not filed your taxes yet, do not report the incorrect 1099-G income on your tax return.
    • If you have already filed your taxes, do not file an amended return. The IRS will issue additional guidance regarding your next steps. Refer to the Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits page on IRS.gov for updates and additional tax filing information.
  3. Check your credit report for suspicious activity or unauthorized lines of credit opened. You can request free credit reports every week from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) through AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1- 877-322-8228; you will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.
    • Consider freezing your credit. It’s the best way you can protect against having new accounts opened in your name. Visit the Credit Freeze page on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.
  4. Report unemployment identity theft that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud. In addition to reporting with the state, reporting with the National Center for Disaster Fraud helps law enforcement stop future unemployment identity theft. Filing this report with the National Center for Disaster Fraud will also notify the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, which is the primary agency responsible for investigating unemployment fraud. You may not receive a response back after submitting this information.

State Directory for Reporting Unemployment Identity Theft

Refer to each state's specific guidance around reporting unemployment identity theft. Some states may refer to unemployment as "reemployment assistance" or may refer to identity theft as "imposter fraud".

Never send personal information or documents to unverified sites or in response to requests from social media. The resources below have been verified by state and federal government.

For technical issues with this website, accessibility problems, or to report non-working phone numbers or broken website links in the State Directory, please contact: [email protected]

Sours: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/UIIDtheft
DETR warns of unemployment-related scams and fraud

Justice News

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Las Vegas woman was sentenced today to 12 months and a day in federal prison for fraudulently applying for and receiving nearly $23,000 in unemployment benefits debit cards, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Quentin Heiden of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Los Angeles Region.

According to court documents, Deandra Michelle Smith, 36, used another person’s personal identification information — without that person’s consent — and fraudulently applied for unemployment insurance benefits with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Around February 2017, Smith falsely claimed that the victim had been laid off, when in fact the victim was employed. Smith also listed her own address on the benefits application, so she would receive the benefits debit card issued by DETR. In carrying out her fraudulent scheme, Smith used the same victim’s personal information to renew the unemployment claim several times. Between March 2017 and August 2018, Smith used the DETR-issued unemployment benefits debit cards in multiple states, including Nevada, California, Texas, and Hawaii. In total, Smith fraudulently received $22,490 from DETR.

Smith pleaded guilty in November 2020 to one count of mail fraud. In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon sentenced Smith to three years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by DOL-OIG. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Fang prosecuted the case.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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Sours: https://www.justice.gov/usao-nv/pr/las-vegas-woman-sentenced-unemployment-benefits-scheme

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