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Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claims

Fraudulent unemployment insurance claims have become increasingly prevalent across the state of Illinois and the United States.

Faculty and Staff who have been contacted by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) may have been the victim of identity theft.

Additionally, if you did not receive unemployment benefits in 2020, yet received a 1099-G Form, this may also indicate that a fraudulent claim was filed in your name. If this is the case, immediately contact the IDES at (800) 244-5631. Resources are also available on the IDES Website at If you have questions about tax filing, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 or visit

It is important that you take the following steps if you believe that you have been a victim of unemployment insurance fraud:

  1. Contact your Human Resources Business Partner directly or at The HR Business Partner will work with the University’s unemployment vendor, NSN, to make sure the fraudulent claim has been immediately reported to the IDES or any other applicable state unemployment agency.
  2. If you receive a letter from IDES asking for repayment based on a fraudulent claim, you should follow the instructions included in the letter on how to appeal the decision or contact for assistance.
  3. Note: In most cases, receiving multiple letters from the IDES does not mean a second, separate fraudulent incident has occurred. Typically, multiple letters are additional correspondence relating to the original, fraudulent unemployment claim.
  4. Visit the IDES web site to report unemployment fraud. Northwestern’s vendor, NSN, will report the claim as fraudulent on Northwestern’s behalf, but you also need to report it as the claimant. NSN cannot represent both the employer and the employee.
  5. File a police report immediately at the closest police station available.
  6. Contact the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) to report the identity theft and freeze your credit reports.
  7. Review your bank accounts and notify any institution that has your financial information.
  8. Destroy the debit card you may receive from the fraudulent unemployment claim or be required to pay back any funds deposited into an account from unemployment.
  9. Contact the Social Security Administration to report the identity theft.
  10. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the fraud.
  11. Notify the Internal Revenue Service by filing an Identity Theft Affidavit (IRS Form 14039) through
  12. Report fraudulent or any suspicious activities to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  13. Report the fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.
  14. Review the U.S. Department of Justice Unemployment Insurance Fraud Consumer Protection Guide.