The Vermont Department of Labor diligently strives to ensure that employers, workers, and others involved in the programs we administer follow the laws, rules and required procedures, to the extent of our available resources. You can assist us in this mission by reporting suspected violations of these laws, rules and required procedures. The source of these reports will remain confidential.
Those who report fraud should not expect a call back from the UI fraud team unless additional information is needed. More information on U.I. Fraud may be found through the links below:
Have you received an unexpected letter or information packet from the Vermont Department of Labor? This could be your first notification that a fraudulent claim was filed using your information. Please make sure to open mail sent from VDOL, and to report receiving unexpected letters or mailings through the UI Fraud form.
Types of UI Fraud
**As a result of COVID-19, there has been an increase in the numbers of reported fraud and scams, specifically relating to unemployment insurance benefits and COVID-19 resources. To assist us with maintaining integrity of our programs, please report instances of fraud that have not already been communicated by the Department.
How to Prevent Fraud
Unemployment Insurance Fraud can be prevented. Here are few steps that claimants can take to ensure that their information stays secure.
- If the regular UI claimant has a common number UI Claimant PIN (i.e. 1111, 2222, 1212, last four of SSN, etc.), they should immediately request a pin change by calling the UI Claimant Assistance Line at: 1-877-214-3332.
- PUA claimants should not use common numbers or names as their password.
- If the claimant believes his/her account(s) have been compromised, they should file a fraud report with the Department using the links above.
- All claimants should actively monitor their UI account, as well as any other online accounts (i.e. bank accounts, credit cards, etc.) to ensure there is no unauthorized activity.
- Review our notice on detecting a fraudulent call impersonating the Vermont Department of Labor. Click here to read our fraud notice.
For more information on identity theft, security freezes and obtaining a free copy of your credit report, please visit the Vermont Attorney General’s website at www.ago.vermont.gov/cap. Additional information is also available on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.consumer.ftc.gov.
Types of Unemployment Fraud
Fraudulent Communications Relating to UI
Have you received communications (phone call, text messages, email, etc.) that you suspect of being fraudulent or a part of a phishing scam? The Department of Labor reminds claimants to be vigilant of potential fraud and only use its official website (labor.vermont.gov) to apply and file for unemployment insurance benefits. If you have recieved communications you believe to be fraudulent, you may report them to the Department through the link below.
Unemployment Insurance Identity Theft Fraud
Unemployment Insurance identity theft fraud occurs when someone’s identity has been stolen and a claim has been opened in their name. If you suspect a claim has been submitted using your information, and you have not applied for unemployment insurance benefits in Vermont, please file a report with the Vermont Department of Labor Fraud Unit immediately by filing a report at the link below. Once the fraud report is received, the fraudulent claim is stopped to ensure that no benefits are issued. Individuals will not be held liable for any claims made using their stolen information, nor do fraudulent claims impact an individual's credit report or credit score. The fraudulent filing information is then forwarded to state and federal law enforcement agencies. Individuals who have had their identities stolen, can file a report online with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.identitytheft.gov/. More tips for protecting your identity during COVID-19 can be found at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/.
If You Know or Suspect Your Identity Was Stolen:
If you did not file an unemployment claim but were notified that one has been opened in your name, you may be a victim of identity theft. Contact the Vermont Department of Labor’s UI Fraud Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, online at labor.vermont.gov/ui-fraud, or at (802) 828-4104 to report that you did not file the claim and consider taking the following recommended steps:
- Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a report with local police.
- Obtain a free copy of your credit report to review it for suspicious activity at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Place a free fraud alert on your credit:
- Experian: https://www.experian.com/help/ or call 888-397-3742
- Transunion: https://www.transunion.com/credit-help or call 888-909-8872
- Equifax: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/ or call 800-685-1111
- Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has a wealth of information for identity theft victims, including assistance with a recovery plan. Go to https://www.identitytheft.gov/ or call 877-438-4338 to learn more.
- If you suspect that someone is using your SSN for work purposes, you should contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to report the problem. They will review your earnings with you to ensure they are correct. You can also review earnings posted to your social security statement www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement for workers 18 and older.
If You Are Concerned about Tax Fraud:
Let the IRS know you are a victim of identity theft at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/how-irs-id-theft-victim-assistance-works. Fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit (FORM 14039). Contact the Vermont Department of Taxes at (802) 828-2865.
If you have received a 1099-G from the Department of Labor either in error or that includes incorrect information as a result of Fraud, please click here for more information
Unemployment Insurance Claimant Fraud
Unemployment Insurance Claimant Fraud occurs when someone intentionally misrepresents a material fact involving an initial UI claim or a weekly claim in order to receive benefits or affect their obligations to the Department. Additionally, fraud can occur when someone lies about a material fact in order to affect someone else’s obligations or benefits. Proven claimant fraud can result in a claimant's loss of benefits, an order to repay any improper benefit payments, and the loss of eligibility for future benefits. Administrative penalties may also be assessed in proven circumstances.
Misclassification occurs when an employer calls someone who is an employee a “subcontractor” or an “independent contractor” to avoid providing benefits such as Workers’ Compensation or Unemployment Insurance, or to avoid withholding and paying payroll taxes.
While specific details about investigations must remain confidential, the department is permitted to provide aggregate data on completed investigations and the names of companies currently debarred from contracting with the State of Vermont as a result of misclassifying.
Fraud and Tax Filing for UI Claimants
The 1099-G form is used to report taxable benefits when filing with the IRS. Every year, we send a 1099-G to people who received unemployment benefits. We also send this information to the IRS.
When criminals fraudulently claim benefits in someone else’s name, we must investigate and confirm fraud before we can update the IRS.
Nationwide fraud attack may impact victims’ 2020 tax filings
In 2020, an international crime ring used previously stolen personal information to fraudulently claim unemployment benefits in states across the country.
If criminals used your previously stolen personal information to get benefits in your name, you could get a 1099-G for the benefits they stole.
How to know if you’re a victim
Criminals used two primary strategies to commit this fraud. They used previously stolen personal information to:
- Open new unemployment claims in victims’ names.
- Access legitimate unemployment claims and fraudulently file for weeks of benefits.
If you get a 1099-G for unemployment benefits you didn’t receive in 2020
Report fraud to us if you get a 1099-G for unemployment benefits that you did not receive in 2020. Use our secure fraud reporting form.
If you got unemployment in 2020, but your 1099-G includes benefits for weeks you didn’t claim
Report fraud to us if you filed for unemployment, but your 1099-G includes benefits for weeks you didn’t claim. Use our secure fraud reporting form.
Make sure your 1099-G only shows benefits for weeks you actually claimed
Double check to make sure that your payment history with the UI Claimant Portal matches your personal records.
The UI Claimant Portal is the best way to see your payment history. Log in to your account and click on the weekly summary to see the payment history.
If you are unable to review payment history through the Claimant Portal, you may contact the Claimant Assistance Center.
If you know you’re a victim and already reported fraud to us
We’re continuing to investigate each fraud report we’ve received in turn.
Investigated and confirmed fraud victims won’t get a 1099-G for benefits they didn’t claim
If we’ve finished our investigation and confirmed that you’re a fraud victim before Jan. 1, you either won’t get a 1099-G, or you’ll get one that only shows the weeks you actually claimed. File your taxes as usual.
If you’re still waiting for the results of our investigation and you get a 1099-G
Don’t submit another fraud report if you get an incorrect 1099-G while you’re waiting for the results of our investigation. This means that we didn’t finish our investigation to confirm fraud before Jan. 1.
What to expect if you got an incorrect 1099-G because of fraud
For investigations of fraud we confirm after Jan. 1, we’ll send you a corrected 1099-G form. This is the form you should use to file your taxes for 2020. Depending on how criminals used your previously stolen information, your corrected 1099-G will show either:
- A zero-dollar value if the criminals opened a new claim in your name.
- Benefits for only the weeks that you legitimately claimed if criminals accessed your account to fraudulently file for some weeks on your claim.