Date: May 6, 2021
Media Contact: James Bernsen
Austin – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is warning Texans who may have been previous victims of identity theft that their stolen information is at high risk to be used for unemployment insurance (UI) fraud. Nefarious actors are filing record numbers of fraudulent UI claims, but the stolen identities have not been compromised in any of TWC systems. Instead, these identities were stolen through hacking and phishing schemes perpetuated outside of TWC.
Major hacks of corporations, individual accounts, and increasing numbers of individuals putting sensitive identity data online have opened up millions for exposure. The Insurance Information Institute (III) has reported that the number of identity theft complaints in America doubled in 2020. Once hackers have access to your information, they sell that information on the internet to fraudsters seeking to use it for further hacks, or to steal services or benefits belonging to you.
For individuals who have been the victims of ID theft in the past, there is increased risk that your identity will be used to try to fraudulently apply for UI benefits. Should this happen, the first sign will be a notification from TWC of an application on your behalf. If you did not submit an application for benefits, report it on the TWC UI identity theft portal at https://mft.twc.state.tx.us/form/UIfraudENG. It is also recommended that those individuals who have been the victims of ID theft monitor their credit scores and update any potentially compromised accounts or passwords.
All Texans should take steps to secure their identity online by practicing Internet security best practices. Treat your TWC account and all accounts like you would your bank account. The Texas Workforce Commission will investigate every unemployment benefit claim to confirm identity and to lock accounts that are fraudulent.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.