ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) continues to battle potential fraud nationally seen within the unemployment insurance (UI) program. The GDOL periodically audits regular and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) UI claims to ensure accounts are secure and free of fraudulent activity. If information has been altered, claimants are contacted to confirm changes to UI accounts were initiated by the claimant.
“We have seen many cases where these bad actors possess an extraordinary amount of personal information on individuals that they have obtained from the dark web,” said Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler. "A lot of these attacks have a high level of sophistication and are well executed making it very hard to identify them as fraud by just a cursory glance. "
The GDOL reminds all UI claimants to be vigilant regarding their UI account and treat this account the same as they would their bank or credit card accounts. The GDOL recommends claimants continually monitor their account to confirm the accuracy of their mailing address, email address, and payment method information. Most importantly, the agency urges claimants to keep their personal and account information secure.
The GDOL is working with a special task force comprised of state and federal agencies to tackle individual and organized crime. To help identify potential fraud, the GDOL encourages individuals to report fraud and abuse on the agency’s homepage under Online Services at www.dol.state.ga.us.
“We will not tolerate fraud and will continue to investigate any suspected fraudulent activity taking the necessary steps to prevent inaccurate payments and stop this illegal activity,” said Commissioner Butler. “We always encourage claimants to keep a close eye on all of their financial accounts, particularly if they have been a victim of identity theft of any kind.”
The GDOL continues to utilize its partnership with the nationally recognized program ID.me to provide a complete identity platform for online identity verification. This partnership is expanding to assist claimants with account PIN issues. Claimants having trouble with access to their account will be directed to ID.me to verify their identity and regain access, if they have not already verified their identity through the platform. This solution when combined with other fraud prevention methods provides a multifactor authentication that is critical to claimant security. Once the identity is verified, the claimant will receive a second email within 24 hours with instructions to reestablish access to their unemployment account.
At this time, GDOL career centers are remaining closed to the public. All online services are still available as the staff continues to answer calls, process claims, respond to customer inquiries, and provide assistance to applicants. The GDOL will reopen offices to the public as soon as social distancing can be effectively implemented to protect both staff and customers.
Information on filing an unemployment claim, details on how employers can file partial claims, and resources for other reemployment assistance can be found on the agency's webpage at dol.georgia.gov.
For more information on Area Unemployment Rate and Labor Force Estimates, visit the Georgia Department of Labor website at https://dol.georgia.gov/area-unemployment-rate-and-labor-force-estimates.