Unemployment Fraud

Did you or your employer receive an email or letter regarding unemployment benefits that you never applied for? This may mean that you’re a victim of UI imposter fraud.

Imposter fraud is when someone illegally applies for unemployment benefits using stolen personal information. If you suspect that your personal information has been stolen and used to file a claim for unemployment benefits, please follow the steps below.

Are you an employer? Click here for information on reporting a fraudulent claim or protesting fraudulent charges.

How to Report Imposter Fraud

1) If you or your employer receive an email or letter regarding unemployment benefits that you never applied for, please file a report with the RI State Police.

Report UI imposter fraud to the RI State Police.

Once you file a report with the RI State Police, there is no need to contact DLT to report the fraudulent claim. The State Police will communicate with DLT to stop the claim.

2) Check your credit report for suspicious activity or for unauthorized lines of credit that may have been opened in your name. Per federal regulations, you may request one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) through AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. For information and steps you can take to further protect your credit, visit the Credit Report page on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consumer site.

3) Report unemployment identity theft that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should consider contacting the three credit reporting agencies, EquifaxExperian, and Trans Union. Review your credit report periodically and make note of any account or transaction you don’t recognize.

When the case is received by the investigator, they will immediately stop the claim for benefits and take action to ensure it is not possible to issue future payments. The accounts will be notated and fully reviewed. However, an exact timeline for a full investigation is not available.

There is no way to know for sure how this happened. However, we make every effort to investigate the matter. At this time, there is no evidence available to suggest that any DLT system has been breached. Rather, it appears that individuals obtain previously stolen information from another source and use it to submit DLT applications.

DLT has dedicated, knowledgeable staff to investigate these matters. As a result of the increased volume of UI applications, we have increased our efforts. DLT is in constant communication with UI agencies from across the country to share information, keep up with how identity thieves are changing their tactics to adapt to new security measures, and develop new and stronger identity verification procedures to make it harder for criminals to steal UI benefits.

No. The Department is taking steps to ensure that you will not be held responsible for any benefits that were paid out fraudulently using your identity. If you received a 1099-G from from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, but you did not file for nor receive unemployment insurance benefits in 2020, please click here to report it.

Please follow the steps provided in the email to verify your claim’s legitimacy. The first step is to visit verify.dlt.ri.gov to confirm your identity. Using this online tool is the quickest way to unfreeze your account. If you are unable to use the web tool, you may call (401) 415-6772 and select option 4 to verify your identity. Please note that this phone line can only be used to unfreeze claims that have been stopped for suspected fraud. It cannot be used for any other fraud or claim-related issues.

UI/TDI Abuse

Below are other types of UI and TDI fraud that are considered abuse. To avoid committing these types of fraud, please ensure that you are accurate and honest in all information you provide to the Department.

Common types of Claimant Fraud:

  • Reported they looked for work when they didn’t
  • Claimed to be available for work when they were not (i.e. on vacation, injured, etc.)
  • Inaccurately reporting hours and/or earnings
  • Is also receiving workers’ compensation
  • Working while collecting benefits and not reporting earnings or hours worked
  • Is falsifying or knowingly failing to disclose required information
  • Is not reporting cash wages earned
  • Is not reporting payments from a former employer (i.e. “back pay for banked hours” or pension/retirement payments)
  • Committing identity theft by using another person’s identity to file a claim for benefits

Common types of Employer Fraud:

  • Aiding someone in filing a fraudulent claim
  • Coercing, persuading, or inducing an employee to file a false claim
  • Providing false information regarding a worker’s separation from employment
  • Failing to report a separation from work by an employee
  • Falsifying or knowingly failing to provide accurate information
  • Misclassifying an employee and the work performed (i.e. labeling the employee as an Independent Contractor (IC) when the employee does not have an IC Exemption Certificate)
  • Employer has employees but is not reporting those employees to UI
  • Not reporting wages earned by an employee, or under reporting an employee’s wages

Common types of Claimant Fraud:

  • The claimant is also working full-time while receiving TDI benefit payments
  • The claimant is working part-time AND has not reported the resulting income to TDI
  • The claimant does not divulge to TDI that the illness/injury is work related
  • The claimant is in receipt of or has filed for Worker’ Compensation payments and does not divulge such information to TDI

Common types of Employer Fraud:

  • The employer colludes with workers so that they may unlawfully receive TDI benefit payments; or
  • The employer pays cash wages or other hidden compensation in order to avoid paying related taxes

Common types of Qualified Healthcare Provider:

  • The QHP colludes with the patient so that he/she may unlawfully receive TDI benefit payments
  • The QHP certifies the patient medically unable to work to instead allow the patient to travel or attend school
  • The QHP continues to certify the patient unable to work after the patient has recovered from the illness/injury
  • The QHP certifies the patient medically unable to work to permit the patient to receive TDI benefits instead of Unemployment Insurance benefits. Please note: patients may prefer to receive TDI benefits since it has a higher benefit rate and the benefit payments are considered non-taxable income.