Identity theft is on the rise, and scammers are targeting Texans using stolen information to attempt to gain further information. Fortunately, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has strong protections to identify, track, and lock down fraud attempts, protecting Texas workers and the integrity of the Texas unemployment system. In most cases, we stop the fraud before a single dollar in benefits are paid out, but sometimes nefarious actors do manage to game the system and collect funds they do not deserve.
Beware if your ID was stolen before
If your identity has ever been stolen, there is higher risk that it can happen again. Once hackers have access to your information, they sell that information on the internet to fraudsters seeking to use it for further hacks, or to steal services or benefits belonging to you. Even if this identity theft occurred many years ago, your information could still be available for purchase on the Dark Web to fraudulently apply for UI benefits.
Should this happen, the first thing you should do is notify the TWC that someone has submitted an application claiming to be you. Immediately report this to the TWC UI identity theft portal at:
This is the first step in getting this unfortunate situation corrected.
Note that individuals who report suspected ID theft to TWC do not always receive a call, email, or letter in response to the information provided. However, they can be assured that the imposter claim is handled as quickly as possible to lock the claim and to prevent payment. TWC will only contact you if additional information is needed regarding the claim.
What to do if you’re being charged for overpayments on a fraudulent claim?
If you never made an unemployment claim, but get a notice of overpayment take the following steps:
- Report the fraud immediately using the TWC fraud portal. Note that individuals who report suspected ID theft to TWC do not always receive a call, email, or letter in response to the information provided. However, they can be assured that the imposter claim is handled as quickly as possible to lock the claim and to prevent payment. TWC will only contact you if additional information is needed regarding the claim.
- There is no need to respond to the overpayment letters or to file an appeal provided you did not apply for benefits. These letters will cease after TWC verifies the fraud and locks down the account.
- If you have applied for benefits or received them recently, but are still the victim of ID theft, TWC might need more information to verify that the overpayment is connected to the fraudulent account and not to you. Please contact TWC in one of the following ways:
- Call: 512-936-3338
- Fax: 512-936-3799
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How was my identity stolen?
Perpetrators use identity information they stole from somewhere else before they file the claim with TWC. Identities are usually stolen through hacking and phishing schemes occurring outside of TWC. Major hacks of corporations, individual accounts, and increasing numbers of individuals putting sensitive identity data online have opened up millions for exposure. The Insurance Information Institute (III) has reported that the number of identity theft complaints in America doubled in 2020.
How to help combat fraud
All Texans should take steps to secure their identity online by practicing internet security best practices. Treat your TWC account and all accounts like you would your bank account. The Texas Workforce Commission will investigate every unemployment benefit claim to confirm identity and to lock accounts that are fraudulent.
If you think you have been the victim of identity theft, report it using the TWC fraud and identity theft portal at: https://apps.twc.state.tx.us/UiFraudSubmission/uifs/uifraud