TIA Issues Updated Tips to Prevent Identity Theft

Fact sheets issued for individuals & businesses on steps they can take to protect themselves from ID theft

Contact: Chris De Witt
517-881-4784
http://www.michigan.gov/tia 

LANSING, January 30, 2018 — Wanda M. Stokes, Director, Talent Investment Agency today announced that the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), a part of TIA, has released updated fact sheets for individuals and businesses facing the challenges of potential identity theft.

“ID theft is a growing crime occurring in all sectors, including unemployment fraud,” Stokes said. “By taking a few simple steps individuals and businesses can prevent, or at least limit the damage, if there is an ID theft attempted.”

“We have established a new Investigations Division to help combat illegal claims from being paid,” Stokes stated. “We are also working with the National Unemployment Insurance Integrity Center to make sure we are following the best practices to prevent fraud claims from being paid.”

Steps individuals can take to protect themselves include:

  • Guard your Social Security number. Give out the number only when absolutely necessary, and don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
  • When an individual files a claim for unemployment, they will receive Form UIA 1575C, Monetary Determination by mail. If you receive Form UIA 1575C and you have not applied for unemployment benefits, or the name on the form is not yours, you may be a victim of identity theft. If this happens, contact the Unemployment Insurance Agency immediately using the Report Fraud or Report Identity Theft link or call the UI Fraud hotline at 1-855-UI-CRIME. Reporting an incorrect Form UIA 1575C may be the best way to stop a fraudulent claim from being paid. Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, social security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online.
  • Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired cards, to prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.
  • Review your credit report at least once a year to be certain that it doesn't include accounts that you have not opened. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gained access to your account information.

Steps businesses can take to protect employees and the business include:

  • Protect your employees’ personal information.
  • Do not use Social Security Numbers or driver’s license numbers to identify employees on internal documents, correspondence, etc. Use an alternate employee ID number.
  • Limit access to personal information to those employees who need it to perform their job duties.
  • Don’t mail, e-mail or fax correspondences to an outside source that include personal identifying information. Don’t leave any personal information in plain view in the work place.
  • Don’t share your web account credentials where personal information is utilized.

“These tip sheets also provide useful information for individuals and businesses if they believe a fraudulent claim has been filed,” Stokes added. “The most important thing everyone can do is be vigilant on any suspicious information involving an unemployment claim.”

Governor Rick Snyder recently signed legislation that improves identity theft protections within TIA-UIA, including allowing the agency to immediately cease paying benefits when it receives an affidavit from a person with a stolen identity and a corroborating report from his or her employer. It is now Public Act 225 of 2017.

The fact sheets are available for individuals and for businesses.