DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Faculty and Staff: HR News > Unemployment fraud continues to be on the rise: Here's what you need to know

Unemployment fraud continues to be on the rise: Here's what you need to know

Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic and increase in unemployment, there has been a significant rise in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims being filed across the country and in the State of Illinois.  

Unemployment fraud is a form of identity theft that has affected people across the nation and across the State of Illinois, including some employees of DePaul. Cyber criminals obtain stolen identity information using a variety of techniques: online purchase of stolen personally identifiable information, previous data breaches, computer intrusions, or email phishing schemes to name a few.

​All DePaul employees are encouraged to be on alert and watch for mailings from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Illinois Comptroller Office for possible fraudulent activity. Everyone should also regularly monitor credit reports and financial accounts for any unexpected activity.

DePaul's Employee Relations and EEO Team within the Office of Human Resources reviews all unemployment claims filed with IDES on a daily basis. If a claim is submitted and the employee is actively working for DePaul, Employee Relations and EEO reaches out to the employee to confirm whether or not they have filed for unemployment. Upon confirmation they have not filed for unemployment, the claim is marked as fraudulent in the IDES system and Employee Relations and EEO notifies the employee of next steps and information recommended by IDES on how to report.

How to know if you have been a target for unemployment insurance identity theft:

1. If you receive any of the following, but have not applied for unemployment benefits through IDES, it is likely that you are a target for unemployment insurance fraud:

  • Notification from DePaul's Office of Human Resources that a claim for benefits has been filed while you have active employment.
  • A debit card from IDES.
  • An unemployment insurance finding letter from IDES.
  • IRS correspondence regarding unreported unemployment benefits.
  • Notice of a State or Federal tax offset.

What steps to take if a fraudulent claim has been submitted using your information:

Report the fraudulent activity by completing either the contact form on the IDES website, or by calling IDES Benefits Payment Control Division at (800) 814-0513. Claim numbers can only be obtained through IDES. You are advised not to use both methods as it may confuse the process and cause delays in reviewing your case.

If you elect to call, follow these prompts:

    • Select the English or Spanish language option
    • Select option one for claimants 
    • Select option five to report identity theft

2. Place a fraud alert on your credit report through one of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. For a helpful guide on how to avoid or limit damage to your finances and credit history, click here.

3. File a case through, which is the federal government's one-stop resource for identity theft victims. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process.

4. File a police report with your local police department.

 For additional information on reporting unemployment insurance fraud, visit the IDES website. Even if you have not been a target for unemployment insurance fraud, the IDES website has helpful information and a video with additional information on how to take action to protect your personal information. ​