Possible unemployment fraud in WA state

Hey folks, wasn’t sure where to put this or if it deserved its own thread but I thought maybe someone else might be running into the same problem I have. My wife and I work for the same employer in the Seattle area, and yesterday she got an email from our HR department notifying of a possibly fraudulent unemployment claim filed on her behalf. She is still working, so responded that she had not filed for unemployment, and filled out a bunch of documents with the state, as well as possible identity theft with the IRS and other agencies. She heard this might have happened to a lot of people and this morning, I got the same email so I’ve got to fill out documentation to hopefully protect myself as well.

I don’t know the breadth of this, if there was some massive database breach or other hackery or general info theft going on, but when you think about it this is probably a perfect opportunity for some enterprising thief. So many people getting laid off or furloughed, submitting for unemployment benefits, why not just push a bunch more through and see what happens? I just figured if it’s happening to us it might be happening to other people, so keep an eye on your info folks.

edit: found more info that says the WA state attorney general’s office has confirmed the problem is widespread, ‘affecting many larger employers in our state.’

Wait until Trump turns this into “best labor market numbers ever - those deep state crooks at the unemployment office are trying to fudge my numbers for the election! I don’t even know anyone that lost their job recently”

More seriously, that sucks. Parents went through ID theft and it looked like a drag.

Sounds like a serious breach somewhere that had personal information and the enterprising person(s) used that data to file on your behalf.

Definitely follow through on all personal account security updates, etc. They usually need employer/employee information, so alert your company IT as well, ASAP.

As I mentioned, this is happening at multiple employers in my area so I am not sure this was a breach of our company, or at least not ours alone. I think it’s likely this was a breach of a government system, though I am not an expert in those matters.

Any chance those companies share a payroll system or some other HR/management software?

All I know is what I’ve been told, and I’ve passed on basically the extent of that. I guess anything’s possible.

May want to ask your company who they file payroll through then, just in case.

Guess I could change the thread title to “definite” unemployment fraud.



The really fun part is that after taking about a month to sort out how to include self-employed people in the pandemic assistance, now they’ve stopped payments again until they can individually verify your identity.

What a shit show. But then again, mentioned directly in the article were key issues: a most likely once in a lifetime payment push on top of unemployment, the need to push things through faster, and malicious parties that were technically savvy to exploit it.

Who is on the hook financially?