Unemployment Fraud

As the Employment Security Department (ESD) is grappling with an unprecedented rise in unemployment claims, Washington State is also seeing a rise in fraudulent claims as victims’ identities are being used to file false claims.

Some individuals who have not filed an unemployment claim have received notification from ESD indicating that a claim as been filed on their behalf. The State is taking this seriously and reviewing its internal processes to identify and prevent these fraudulent claims going forward. This may slow down processing, but is being done in the interest of claimants.

Protect Yourself From Unemployment Fraud

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Fraud

Employees should consider setting up their own account with Employment Security Department (ESD) to prevent a fraudulent account being created in their name. To do so, follow these simple steps:
  • Go to https://secure.esd.wa.gov/home/ to create an account
  • After creating an account, ESD will send an email to verify your email address. Using the link in the email will bring you back to the website
  • Once back at the website - Click on "For yourself"
  • Under "If you're an unemployment claimant, a job seeker, or if you want to send us a message or look up your past wages" click on "Continue"
  • Click on "Verify my identity"
  • This will take you to a page to insert your social security number and associate it with the account with your email address. This will not initiate an unemployment claim but it will associate your social security number with the secure username and password that you use to set up your account.

What To Do If You Are A Victim of Fraud

If you discover that your social security number has been used to already set up an account, or a fraudulent claim has been filed, follow these steps: 
  • Go to https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud and complete a Fraud Reporting Form
  • Contact Human Resources by either emailing the HR Helpdesk or contacting Michelle Davis
  • File a police report -  You can file an online or non-emergency report with the law enforcement agency whose jurisdiction you live in
  • File an Identity Theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via their online form at www.identitytheft.gov
  • Obtain your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Report to the credit bureaus that the fraudulent claim was made using your identity and provide them with the case number from your police report. You can have a fraud alert put on your identity or freeze your credit. Doing either is free by law. A fraud alert is free and will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name.Equifax: 1-888-766-0008 • Experian: 1-888-397-3742 • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289