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Posted on: May 20, 2020

How to Report Washington Unemployment Fraud

The Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) has seen a dramatic rise in unemployment imposter fraud in recent weeks.  If you suspect someone has made a fraudulent claim in your name, the Employment Security Department suggests that you take the following steps:

  • Report it to the Employment Security Department by completing their Online Fraud Report.  You will need the following information on hand to verify your identity:
  • Last four (4) digits of your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Current phone number
  • Information on how you learned a fraudulent claim was filed

You may also report the fraud to ESD by phone at 1-855-682-0785 or by email at mailto:esdfraud@esd.wa.gov.  The online report form is currently ESD’s preferred method due to the high volume of phone calls and emails associated with fraudulent claims.  You will need to give ESD permission to deny or cancel the fraudulent claim.

  • File a police report with your local law enforcement agency. 
  • Contact your employer’s human resources department to report the incident.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission identity theft website at https://www.identitytheft.gov/.
  • Request free credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com and review them for fraudulent activity.  You may also call 1-877-322-8228 to request these. 
  • Set up an IRS account with your social security number to prevent criminals from creating an account using your identity.  You can also call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490 to report suspected identity theft.  Another option to lock your social security number is at the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify website.
  • Contact your local post office to make sure that mail has not been redirected to a different address without your permission.
  • Find additional tips from the Washington State Attorney General at https://www.atg.wa.gov/recovering-identity-theft-or-fraud.

    You can also set up a State of Washington SAW User Account to prevent someone else from setting one up in your name.  A SAW account is used by multiple Washington State agencies to conduct business with the state.  You will need to use a personal email address to do this and will need your social security number to verify your identity. If you receive an error message stating that your social security number is already linked to an account, you should assume that your identity has been compromised and follow the guidance listed above to report the identity theft.   

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