CONSUMER ALERT: Beware Unemployment Benefit Identity Theft

Published 7:36 am Saturday, May 1, 2021

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AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today warned that unemployment benefits identity theft is on the rise in Texas. Unemployment benefits identity theft occurs when an imposter uses another person’s personal information, such as their name and Social Security number, to file a claim for unemployment benefits.

“Unscrupulous criminals are victimizing Texans by stealing their identities and filing false unemployment claims. If you receive documents from the Texas Workforce Commission regarding benefits claims you did not make, remain vigilant, report it, and take appropriate steps to protect your identity,” said Attorney General Paxton.

Texans who are not claiming unemployment benefits and have information that a claim was filed using their identity should report the identity theft claim on the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) online portal. The TWC’s website has further information on how to use the portal and other methods to file a report. Anyone receiving a letter from the TWC asking to verify an identity using that did not file a claim should not complete the verification and instead should report it to the TWC.

Victims should also notify their employers. Employers may receive a “Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits” from the TWC informing them that a claim was filed. Texans should tell their employer to follow the instructions for responding to the notice and indicate the claim was filed by an imposter.

Texans should also take steps to educate and protect themselves regarding identity theft. The Texas Attorney General website has resources explaining what identity theft is and explaining what to do if your identify is stolen. In addition, the TWC has additional resources related to identity theft.

Suspected fraud may also be reported to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling toll-free 1-800-621-0508 or by filing an online complaint at