DWD Sees Surge in UI Benefit Fraudulent Activity

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is warning Wisconsinites about a significant increase in fraudulent activity related to unemployment insurance benefits.

Yesterday, DWD received reports of an email phishing attack coming from a fake account called the “Wisconsin Department of Workforce.” The email requests unemployment insurance information and includes a link to a document where the recipient is asked to fill in personal information. It’s important to remember that while unemployment insurance claims specialists and adjudicators can send secure messages through the UI claims portal, they will never request information through email.

Scammers are also trying to access information through social media. This morning, the department worked with Facebook to take down a fake DWD page that popped up overnight. Scammers were using the fake account to interact with people commenting on DWD’s legitimate Facebook page. The fraudulent account was shut down quickly and it does not appear that anyone gave out personal information. DWD’s real Facebook page has a blue checkmark that indicates it is a verified account. The department has also reported several accounts to Twitter that were phishing for information from posters on that platform.

DWD has also been receiving an unusually high number calls to its IT Helpdesk for password resets or authorizations. The callers appear to be mostly impersonators attempting to gain access to unemployment insurance accounts. DWD’s UI Fraud Investigations Unit is verifying whether calls are legitimate before any action is taken to change account information.

If you receive a request for information and are unsure if it came from Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance, contact a claims specialist at (414) 435-7069, or toll free at (844) 910-3661.

For more information about how to protect yourself from unemployment fraud and scams visit: dwd.wisconsin.gov/ui/fraud/.

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, contact the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 or DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov.