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South Dakota Unemployment Benefit Identity Theft
As the volume of individuals requesting reemployment assistance benefits dramatically increased during the pandemic, so have the amount of identity theft, fraudulent activity, and unemployment insurance-related scams. These include identity theft scams and scammers posing as state workforce agencies to solicit personally identifiable information for the purpose of collecting unemployment benefits.
Most victims of unemployment identity theft are unaware claims have been filed/benefits have been collected until they receive some kind of notification. For example, you may be a victim of unemployment identity theft if you received:
- Mail from a government agency about an unemployment claim or payment, and you did not recently file for unemployment benefits. This includes unexpected payments or debit cards and could be from any state.
- A 1099-G tax form reflecting unemployment benefits you weren't expecting. Box 1 on this form may show unemployment benefits you did not receive or an amount that exceeds your records for the unemployment benefits you did receive. The form itself may be from a state in which you do not live or did not file for benefits.
- While you are still employed, a notice from your employer indicating that your employer received a request for information about an unemployment claim in your name.
Reporting Unemployment Identity Theft
Anyone who did not apply for reemployment assistance benefits, but suspects they may be a victim of identity theft, please report your suspicions immediately to RAFraud@state.sd.us.
The RA Division will investigate, and in the case of 1099-G forms, send out an amended 1099-G if appropriate. See our 1099-G tax form page for more information for guidance on filing income taxes in these circumstances.
Additionally, you may wish to take these steps to further protect your identity:
- File a police report with your local police department. Obtain a copy of the report you can provide to creditors and credit agencies.
- Change passwords on your email, banking, and other personal accounts.
- Make a list of credit card companies, banks, and other financial institutions where you do business. Tell them you are a victim of identity theft and ask them to put a fraud alert on your account.
- Get a copy of your credit report and dispute any fraudulent transactions. You can request credit reports online from the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax 800.349.9960, Experian 888.397.3742, and Transunion 888.909.8872) or by calling 877.322.8228.
- Place a credit freeze with each of the three major credit reporting agencies by calling the agencies or freezing your credit online.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit file. You can do this by contacting just one of the credit agencies to add an alert with all three agencies.
- If you suspect someone is using your SSN for work purposes, contact the Social Security Administration at 800.772.1213 to report the problem. They will review your earnings with you to ensure they are correct. You can also review earnings posted to your social security statement online for workers 18 and older.
- Maintain a good record (keep all documents and record all conversations) you can access when necessary in re-establishing your identity and credit history.
- Report unemployment identity theft that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF). In addition to reporting with the state, reporting with the National Center for Disaster Fraud helps law enforcement stop future unemployment identity theft. You may not receive a response back after submitting this information.
Additional Resources for Identity Theft Victims
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website has a wealth of information for identity theft victims, including assistance with a recovery plan. You can also contact them by phone at 877.438.4338.
If you suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, view the Internal Revenue Service's Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft page for guidance.
Consider filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF).
Employers Who Suspect Possible Identity Theft
Employers, please notify us as soon as possible at RAFraud@state.sd.us if:
- You receive an unemployment notification from DLR regarding someone you don’t know.
- Unemployment claims have been filed for employees whose employment status has not changed (e.g. employees have not had a reduction in hours, been temporary laid off, etc.).
Please share the resources for individuals on this website with the employees at your organization.
Other Fraudulent Unemployment Benefit Activities
To learn more about or report other forms of suspected unemployment benefit fraud, please view our Overpayments - Report Possible Fraud webpage.