Identity Theft Prevention
Identity theft is a growing problem affecting millions of people and their livelihoods. Identity thieves can even use your identity to file Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims in your name. This causes a variety of problems not only for employees, but also for employers, who can see increases to their UI contribution rates if their employees become victims of identity theft.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) is committed to maintaining the integrity of the UI program, and California employees and employers are a crucial part of its efforts to prevent, detect, and prosecute identity theft.
Identity Theft and UI Imposter Claims
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's information—including wage, employment, and credit card information—to take on their identity. Identity thieves can also use another person’s name, Social Security number, and employment information to illegally file UI claims and collect UI benefit payments.
If you suspect that identity thieves have used your personal information, or the personal information of one of your employees, to file a false UI claim, it is essential that you act fast to help the EDD stop an imposter claim.
Reporting Imposter Claims
If you suspect a potential imposter claim, the fastest and most secure way to report the potential fraud is online. You may also call the EDD's toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-800-229-6297. If you are unable to reach a representative, we encourage you to file a report online.
If the EDD receives information that identity theft has occurred, the EDD will place an indicator on those identities. When someone uses one of those identities to file for UI benefits, the Department will contact the individual who filed the claim and their employer for additional identifying information. Please assist us and provide the requested information in response to any inquiries from the EDD.
Preventing and Identifying Identity Theft
There are a number of ways that you can protect yourself against identity theft and UI imposter fraud.
Tips for Employers:
- Thoroughly review all EDD notices regarding UI claims and notify the EDD immediately if you find any discrepancies.
- Register with the State Information Data Exchange System to receive EDD notifications faster, which gives you more time to respond, decreases human error, and lowers administrative costs.
- Keep current employee records in secure storage when you are not using them.
- Properly destroy old payroll records by shredding them or, if saved electronically, fully erasing them from your system.
- Review How You Can Prevent Unemployment Insurance Imposter Fraud (DE 2360ER) (PDF) for more information.
Tips for Employees:
- Only share your information if you are certain that the person you are giving it to is from a legitimate organization (your bank, a government agency, etc.).
- Do not save your personal information or passwords in an unsecure place (e.g., your purse, your car, your cubicle, etc.).
- Tear up all documents with personal information before throwing them away.
- Check your credit card bills carefully and contact your card issuer immediately if you see any unauthorized activity on your account.
- Review Protect Your Identity and Stop Unemployment Insurance Imposter Fraud (DE 2360EE) (PDF) for more information.
- Visit the Office of the Attorney General’s website for more information on how to prevent identity theft and what you can do if you experience it.