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Beware of Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) needs your help to combat Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fraud/Identity Theft. If you become a victim of UI Fraud/Identity Theft, you must either contact IDES by phone at (800) 814-0513 or use the  Contact Form  to promptly report it. Using both methods of reporting may cause delays in reviewing your case.

IDES has partnered with local and federal law enforcement agents, Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Attorney General, State’s Attorney, and US Attorney’s Offices to help fight against fraud.

Unemployment Insurance Identity Theft Fraud

Identity thieves and hackers have long known how to use stolen identities to commit fraud – for example, open a new credit card or file a false tax return – and criminals using stolen identities to defraud public assistance programs is not new. In fact, such schemes are so pervasive that federal rules require Illinois to have staff dedicated to preventing and stopping fraudulent activity in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system.

How can you spot unemployment insurance identity theft?

• You receive a debit card or an unemployment insurance letter (UI Finding) and has not filed a claim for benefits.

• You are notified by your employer that a claim for benefits has been filed when you have not been separated from employment.

• You attempt to file a claim online and one already exits.

• You receive IRS correspondence regarding unreported UI benefits.

• You receive notice of a State or Federal tax offset.

What steps should you take if you receive a debit card and did not file for unemployment insurance?

If you suspect a claim has been submitted using your information, and you have not applied for unemployment insurance benefits in Illinois, take steps as follows:


• Call IDES' Benefit Payment Control Division at (800) 814-0513. Please Note: call volume is high due to an increase in reports of fraud, so please be patient in waiting for your scheduled call back. When prompted:

  1. Select English or Spanish language option;

  2. Select option #1 for claimants, and;

  3. Select option #5 to report identity theft.

• DO NOT activate the debit card that was mailed to you.

• DO NOT contact KeyBank.

• Destroy the card.

• Request your free credit reports via  and review them for other fraudulent activities.



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