State Monitoring for Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

May 28, 2020, 8:26 AM HST · Updated May 29, 8:37 AM
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The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is warning consumers about attempts made by criminals to file imposter claims in order to receive unemployment benefits.

Multiple states have been victimized by fraudulent claims filed in recent weeks as part of a nationwide scam organized by a cybercrime ring that is believed to have obtained personal information through previous nationwide data breaches.

The US Secret Service issued a national alert about this international crime ring committing fraud against state unemployment programs on May 14, 2020.

“Hawaiʻi residents who suspect an imposter claim has been filed in their name should contact the Unemployment Insurance Division at (808) 586-8947,” said Neal K. Okabayashi, Hawaiʻi Bankers Association Executive Director. “It is unfortunate that criminals are capitalizing on the current COVID-19 emergency to file fraudulent unemployment claims using stolen identify information.”

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“The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations takes its responsibility to prevent fraud in the unemployment insurance program very seriously,” said Scott Murakami, DLIR Director. “We are working with our federal, state and local partners to investigate and prevent fraud, while paying benefits to claimants as quickly as possible.”

The department was alerted that potentially fake claims may be filed using previously stolen or fraudulent personal information, however, no personal information from claimants have been stolen from the department. The department uses program integrity measures to prevent and identify fraud and is currently coordinating with the Hawaiʻi Bankers Association to identify suspicious accounts.

Employers can assist the department by electronically filing wage data and Electronic Lower Earnings Reports through the unemployment insurance web application at www.uiclaims.hawaii.gov. The web application is secure, free, and easy to use, for more information please visit https://labor.hawaii.gov/ui/main/new-employer-website/.

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