Concerned man talking on smartphone and looking at computer monitor
Concerned man talking on smartphone and looking at computer monitor

tackling unemployment identity theft in 7 steps

Scammers are capitalizing on increased unemployment claims by using the information from identity theft victims to make bogus claims.

Over the last year, unemployment claims are up throughout the country due to COVID-19. Scammers are capitalizing on the increased volume of claims by using the social security information of identity theft victims to file for fraudulent unemployment claims.

How do I know if I’m impacted?

The best way to know you’re a target of this scam is if you receive a 1099 form for unemployment benefits you did not file for or receive. If you didn’t file for unemployment but receive this form with your tax documentation, there is a chance your identity was compromised and used to claim unemployment fraudulently.

What do I do?

Step one: Report identity theft to the state that issued you the 1099

The first step in handling this situation is to report the theft to the state that issued you the 1099. You can report identity theft by using the links below:

Once the state has received your claim, they will process it, conduct an investigation, and if necessary, issue a correction to the IRS.

Step two: File your taxes

Once you have made the state aware of the incorrect 1099, it is time to file your taxes. You should make sure to follow the tax-filing guidance regarding identity theft from the IRS and the issuing state's department of taxation.

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Step three: Protect your identity

There are many resources available for victims of identity theft to help protect their identity. We urge anyone who suspects they may be a victim of identity theft to take action to protect themselves. You can find helpful resources at identitytheft.gov.

Step four: File a police report

It is important to file a report with your local police municipality. This will give you a formal police report if the state’s investigation requires one. If there are other impacts from the theft of your identity, this police report will help you resolve them. Victims of identity theft should keep an eye on their credit score to make sure there are no accounts opened in their name. You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus once every 12 months. You can find more information on your credit report here.

Step five: Contact your current financial institutions

You should also make your current financial institutions aware that your identity was compromised. This will allow them to keep an eye on your accounts and flag any questionable transactions. You can contact our Client First Center at 877.322.9530.

Step six: Place a fraud alert on your credit report

Place a free one-year fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting any of the three nationwide credit reporting companies online or through their toll-free numbers below.

Step seven: Practice good online habits

Protecting your information online is the best defense against scammers and thieves. You can visit our blog, Flourish with First, for a wealth of knowledge on defending yourself. We suggest starting with our blogs on smart online habits and identify theft protection.


The information on this page is accurate as of February 2021 and is subject to change. First Financial Bank is not affiliated with any third-parties or third-party websites mentioned above. Any reference to any person, organization, activity, product, and/or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement. By clicking on a third-party link, you acknowledge you are leaving bankatfirst.com. First Financial Bank is not responsible for the content or security of any linked web page. Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender.

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