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.
NOTE: If a claimant wishes to confirm that a caller is, in fact, Wisconsin DWD UI staff, the claimant should ask the caller to provide their (1) first name, (2) adjudicator code, and (3) phone number. The claimant may then call the help center at (414) 435-7069 or toll-free (844) 910-3661 to verify that individual is assigned to their claim.
Please be aware of potential fraud and report any and all unemployment fraud.
We have received reports of individuals receiving text messages claiming they had to verify information to continue receiving UI or PUA payments. You will not receive a text message from the department if you have not opted in to text messages. Also, if you have opted in and do receive a text message, make sure the link is valid. Reports indicate the invalid links were from a .com site or included "unemploy.ment." Our link will end with .gov: "my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov"
View this spoofed Wisconsin UI email asking you to click on a link to fill out a form. Holding your cursor over the link provided in the email will show it does not go to the website indicated. Be aware of phishing and spoofing attempts through email and do not click any links.
Be aware of fraudulent DWD Facebook pages that mimic the official page for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. There was a fake DWD facebook page that started to reply to comments on DWD's legitimate government Facebook page (WIWorkforce). The fake DWD Facebook page was blocked and reported.
Fake fraud investigators may reach out to claimants by phone or text. One is using the name Katty Wilson, providing a supposed "badge number" 1028, and calling from a San Diego, CA phone number (619) 860-1098, then transferring to a Washington, DC number, (202) 860-2768. NOTE: To confirm a caller is a DWD investigator, the claimant should ask the caller to provide their (1) first name, (2) adjudicator code, and (3) phone number. The claimant may then call the help center at (414) 435-7069 or toll-free (844) 910-3661 to verify the investigator's identity.
DWD will never ask you for your social security number over Facebook Messenger. If you receive a message requesting your personal information, please notify us immediately. Tennessee state reported a fraudulent Facebook page that appeared to be legitimate (using official looking logos and images). View this fraudulent messenger screenshot scamming claimants to send detailed personal information.
Be aware other states have reported Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) phishing emails, like this PUA email from Ohio.
There are also Pandemic UI Assistance emails circulating in Wisconsin. View this Wisconsin phishing email. Clues this is a phishing scam:
View this spoofed U.S. Department of Labor email being sent to UI Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants asking you to log in your account and verify recent activity. Be aware of phishing and spoofing attempts through email and do not click any links.
Nefarious actors continue to target state UI systems with increasingly sophisticated hacking schemes to access personal information of UI claimants using credential stuffing (stolen credentials are used to log into web-based systems). Wisconsin recently was one of multiple states to detect unauthorized intrusions of state UI data originating from Japan, South Korea, Russia and inside the U.S. We are working with the USDOL – OIG to investigate the multi-state hacking incident and continue to take additional steps to ensure the safety and security of Wisconsin's UI systems.
DWD has implemented system enhancements to combat these attacks. Specifically, geo-blocking and captcha controls were put in place and improved scans of access activity are being performed.
What can you do? Avoid reusing the same logon credentials (e.g., passwords) on multiple accounts. If you suspect identity theft, go to Report Unemployment Fraud to request a fraud investigation.
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.
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.