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
June 2020 Fraud Alert: Trusted Company Scams
Be aware of phishing emails using the names of companies know and trust. Scammers trick you into signing into the trusted company using familiar icons, folders and programs, to steal your personal information.
No State Work Force Agency requires you to use a secondary account to sign into their system.
For screenshots of these phishing emails and more information view this Fraud Alert Flyer from the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Labor
May 2020 Fraud Alert: COVID-19 Pandemic UI Scams
Be aware of numerous schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In one scheme, scammers have offered to help individuals file claims for unemployment benefits, asking for personal information. You do NOT need to pay anyone to file or qualify for your benefits.
For more information on these COVID-19 scams view this Fraud Alert Flyer from the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Labor
- Facebook Job Openings
Facebook posts for Call Center Job openings on UpWork or paying CareerOneStop to help you apply for UI are a scam.
Do not apply for these jobs; and do not pay for these services. There is a posting on a FaceBook group (Strictly Homebased Work)-linking
to a job posting on UpWork that is soliciting call center workers—allegedly for CareerOneStop (see screenshot).
The call-center script offers to help people file a UI claim for a fee of $49.50. The script directs the call-center workers to say they are calling on “behalf of CareerOneStop which is a product of the USDOL/ETA.”
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
- Phone Scams
- June 2020 Fraud Alert: The University of Wisconsin (UW) Office of Human Resources
has received several reports of unemployment phone scams
and fraudulent attempts to collect benefits using stolen information. Scenario: Employee receives a phone call from an unknown number.
The caller impersonates a Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) employee, and states that DWD had no record of UW employment.
They then request the employee provide their Social Security Number in order to receive unemployment benefits. DWD will not contact employees
requesting personal information over the phone.
- Email Scams
- 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.
- 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