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Action Steps Employees Should Take in Response to Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

West Virginia University has been made aware that some faculty and staff may be victims of a fraudulent unemployment claims. This issue is not related to anything that has happened at the University — WVU's Information Security team has done multiple checks and continues to monitor our systems, and there is no evidence of any data breaches on the University's systems. However, there are several cases of identity theft leading to fraudulent unemployment claims occurring across the state and throughout the U.S.

Most recently, WVU was informed that some employees have received Key Bank debit cards, which may be tied to a fraudulent Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim made on behalf of the employee. If you received one of these debit cards in the mail and have not filed an unemployment claim with WorkForce West Virginia, do not activate the card and destroy it immediately. We also recommend you take the following steps regarding identity theft reporting and mitigation.

  • Contact WorkForce West Virginia. It is important to alert WorkForce West Virginia immediately of the fraud at reportunemploymentfraud@wv.gov to have your claim closed and marked as fraudulent activity. You also may alert Workforce West Virginia by calling 1-800-252-JOBS (5627). When calling, please press 1 to access the automated system and then press 6 to report the fraudulent activity to an agent. Also, if calling, please document your claim in writing and make sure you receive confirmation of your report from WorkForce West Virginia. If Workforce West Virginia is not notified, they are unable to determine the potential fraud. Note: The identity thief potentially could be paid through this claim, which also potentially could make the victim of the fraud activity responsible for payments made.
  • Report the identity theft. Reports can be made to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://identitytheft.gov/ . You also have the option to report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to guard against fraudulent tax returns. The University highly recommends you take the time to review the additional information about identity theft on the FTC website.
  • File a report with law enforcement.  Contact your local police department and tell them your identity has been stolen. Be prepared to provide a copy of your FTC report, your driver’s license, proof of your address and proof of the theft (such as notification of a false claim). If you experience any issues (e.g., because it may be a minimal amount of money), insist on filing the report and request a copy be sent to you.
  • Check your bank account.  If unemployment compensation money has been deposited into your account, you will need to remit that money back to WorkForce West Virginia. Be sure to get a receipt from WorkForce West Virginia that you have repaid the money.
    • Get your credit report.  Request a credit report from Experian, TransUnion or Equifax to identify fraudulent activity. You can get a free credit report from each company once every 12 months at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action . If you already have received your free credit reports, use the police report to request a credit check from one of the three agencies above. There is no need to pay for a credit report. While in contact with one of these companies, you also may want to put a fraud alert on your credit reports. You only need to contact one of these companies for the information to be shared with all three.
    • Contact the Social Security Administration.  Because your Social Security Number was used to file the fraudulent unemployment claim, you should report the misuse via your Social Security account . This step will ensure your Social Security Number isn’t being used by someone else to work illegally or claim benefits.

    Please contact CoronavirusHR@mail.wvu.edu  if you have any questions.