Skip to main content

Fraudulent unemployment claims on the rise

Update | Tuesday, February 16, 2021

How to take immediate action if you become a victim

You may be aware of recent news reports of the sharp increase in fraudulent unemployment claims in Ohio and other states across the nation. According to the state, for the week ending February 6, there was a 194% increase in new unemployment claims filed in Ohio over the prior week. More than 40,000 claims have been flagged under suspicion of fraud and are under review.

As many as 60 faculty and staff members have become victims of this fraud. The cybercriminals did not obtain or access the information through the College. 

Information Security Officer Ben Dalton provides tips on what to be aware of during this time. 

Most common red flags of possible unemployment fraud:

  • Employer receives a notice stating an employee filed for unemployment
  • Employer notices fraudulent charges listed on their account
  • Worker receives unemployment documents and correspondences via US mail or email
  • Worker received unemployment documents in current or maiden name at past home addresses
  • Worker receives an unsolicited bank debit card from unemployment
  • Worker legitimately attempts to file for unemployment but cannot because a claim already exists

At Columbus State, please report any suspicious email at, or call the IT Support Center at 614-287-5050.

What you can do now
If you are a victim of this unemployment fraud scheme, contact the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) as soon as possible at this link. 

Additional optional recommended steps:

1.     Request your Earnings Statement through your My Social Security account at the Social Security Administration's website.

2.     File a 14039 IRS ID Theft Affidavit and submit it back to the IRS.

3.     Place a fraud alert or credit freeze with the three main credit bureaus:

TransUnion, phone: 800-680-7289 

Equifax, phone: 888-548-7878

Experian, phone: 800-493-1058 

4.     Place a fraud alert or a freeze on your credit with Chex Systems.

5.     Request your three credit reports from the Annual Credit Report's website.

6.     You also have the option to file a police report in your area since this is a form of ID fraud. 

By this time, if you have confirmed that everything looks correct, you will have some comfort that you are in good standing regarding this whole matter. 


Go to 2021 Update Archive Go to Employee Update


Latest Update Stories