States across the country are reporting an increase in unemployment fraud in which victims’ identities are being used to file false unemployment claims. While this fraud is impacting consumers far and wide, Washington state has been a prominent early target.
It is important to note that WSECU has not been a victim of a data breach, and all member information remains secure.
Dealing with a fraudulent claim
If you have been notified by your employer or state employment office that a fraudulent unemployment claim has been filed in your name, we strongly advise that you take the following steps to protect your personal and financial information:
- Visit the Washington State Employment Security Department website and submit a fraud reporting form.
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus and request a fraud alert be put on your credit report. That bureau will notify the other two bureaus on your behalf. (Be sure to follow up if you don't receive a confirmation.) These alerts tell creditors to contact you before any new accounts are opened or existing ones are changed.
Equifax 800.525.6285 | Experian 888.397.3742 | TransUnion 800.680.7289
- Please call us at 800.562.0999 so we may take additional steps to secure your account.
How to be proactive
If you have not been notified of any fraudulent activity but would like to be proactive in preventing future fraudulent claims, visit secure.esd.wa.gov/home to create an account and verify your identity. This will ensure your social security number is tied to the username and password you’ve created and cannot be used by anyone else. Be sure to use a strong password that is at least 16 digits in length and contains a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Do not reuse a password from another account.
Other steps you can take to protect yourself
- Consider placing a freeze on your credit report to make it more difficult for identity thieves to open accounts in your name.
- Request your free credit reports at annualcreditreport.com and review them for fraudulent activity.
- Find additional tips from the Washington State Attorney General at atg.wa.gov/recovering-identity-theft-or-fraud.
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, identitytheft.gov, for excellent resources and step-by-step instructions if you suspect your identity has been stolen. You can also file an identity theft complaint with the FTC by calling 877.ID.THEFT (877.438.4338).
- More information on identity theft, prevention and recovery is available on the FTC's identity theft website.
We’re here to help.
If you’re experiencing a loss of income or are struggling with another financial matter, please reach out to one of our representatives. We’re committed to working with you to find a solution. You can also visit our COVID-19 Member Update page for any COVID-related concerns.