Don't Be A Victim: Avoid Unemployment Scams

Avoid Unemployment Scams

Don't Be A Victim

On occasion the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) receives notification of potential scams aimed at Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants and their current or former employers.

In an effort to protect claimants and employers and their personal information, this page contains alerts for known scams related to collecting unemployment benefits.

Please be aware of potential fraud and report any and all unemployment fraud.

Scams Targeting Claimants

  • No Fee
    There is no fee to file for unemployment benefits. If you get a phone call from someone representing themselves as being from California EDD or a representative of Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance telling you that you need to pay to file for unemployment benefits - Do not give any information to the caller or send money.
  • False Websites
    There are several websites that advertise that they can assist claimants in filing for unemployment benefits. Some of those sites offer services free of charge and others do charge for the services. The sites often ask for confidential/private information such as your social security number, address, work history and email address. Use only the official Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance websites: dwd.wisconsin.gov/ui or unemployment.wisconsin.gov
  • Emails and Text Messages
    We WILL NOT ask you for personal information or for you to verify your eligibility for unemployment benefits by email or text message. If you receive an email or text message and you are unsure if it came from Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance, contact a claims specialist by phone at (414) 435-7069.
  • Email Scams
    1. If you receive an email from the Job Center of Wisconsin (JCW), stating there is an employment opportunity and you need to set up a Google Hangouts account to conduct an interview or you will lose benefits, do not respond.  JCW provides more information on how to protect yourself online including actions to take.
    2. If you receive an email from an individual or service regarding your method of payment for receipt of unemployment benefits from Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance do not respond. The email advises claimants to enroll in a direct deposit card program online and lists a mailing address in Las Vegas, NV. This communication did not come from the State of Wisconsin, DWD, Unemployment Insurance Division. Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance would never communicate with you via email regarding direct deposit.
    3. There have been several complaints of individuals receiving false emails stating that they had won a $1,000 Visa gift card free of charge. The individuals were directed to a website to claim the gift card. The website malware attempts to download to their computer. These emails are not from the Texas Workforce Commission nor are they from the State of Wisconsin, DWD, Unemployment Insurance Division. Gift cards or other “gifts” are not being given away.
  • Applying for Debit Cards
    A recent scam directs claimants to a website (unemploymentclaims.org) to apply for a debit card. The scam company then charges for no activity on the card. Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance uses the Visa® Pre-Paid Debit Card (U.S. Bank ReliaCard®) to pay unemployment benefits.
  • ATM Threats
    Protect yourself when using your Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Debit Card and any other personal debit or credit cards. Be discreet when entering your PIN or withdrawing cash at an ATM. If an ATM or even a gas pump looks suspicious, do not use it!; Criminals try to steal information about your credit or debit card through skimming, copying information from the magnetic strips, in order to gain access to your account.
  • Job Offers
    If you receive a call from someone representing himself as an employee of Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance offering employment but requesting your credit card number and personal information in order to be hired, do not provide the information. Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance would not ask you for your credit card information.
  • Online Surveys
    Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance does not pay claimants to take surveys. If you receive an email requesting that you complete an online survey seeming to be from the State of Wisconsin, DWD, Unemployment Insurance which promises to pay you to complete the survey, do not complete the survey. This is likely an attempt to get your personal information.

Scams Targeting Employers

  • Email Scams
    1. If you receive an email that claims to be sent on behalf of the New York or Wisconsin “Division of Unemployment Assistance”: @detma.org requesting information about a former employee, do not reply to the message and do not click on the link in the message. This appears to be an email identity theft scam. Neither the New York Department of Labor nor the State of Wisconsin’s DWD Unemployment Insurance Division sent the email. Neither office would request confidential information in this manner. Wisconsin UI does not send emails for information on former employees.
    2. There is an imposter Kevin Adams, claiming to be a Sr. Benefit Representative. He is targeting employers seeking confidential information. He is targeting employers using an email ending in atworker.com and using an 866 number. Neither the State of Wisconsin, DWD, Unemployment Insurance nor the State of MO uses an 866 number. The emails for employees use their name and end in labor.mo.gov for Missouri workers and dwd.wi.gov for State of Wisconsin workers. Neither agency has employees titled Sr. Benefits Rep. in their unemployment divisions.