Texas Workforce Commission

NBC 5 Responds: Stranger Files for Unemployment Benefits in North Texas Woman's Name

The Texas Workforce Commission reports spike in ID theft-related fraud

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A North Texas teacher reached out to the NBC 5 Responds team after receiving notice of unemployment benefits in the mail - even though she didn’t file.

Lindsay, who asked NBC 5 not to publish her last name because she’s concerned her identity has been stolen, said the packet from the Texas Workforce Commission came in the mail in late July. It laid out the weekly benefits Lindsay was eligible to collect and explained how to request the benefit payments.

Lindsay said the packet included her full name, address and social security number.

“You’re constantly in your head like what else are they doing with my information and how many other people are in this position?” Lindsay told NBC 5.

Lindsay said she called the TWC fraud hotline and left messages more than three weeks ago and followed up with a fax about a week later.

Monday, NBC 5 Responds reached out to the TWC. An investigator called Lindsay and explained Lindsay’s claim was flagged as suspicious by the TWC and no benefits were paid out.

According to the TWC, fraud does spike in times of disaster. So far this year, the TWC reports it identified, confirmed and locked more than 3,500 identity theft fraudulent claims.

The TWC said it has a tool to flag high-risk claims and asks employers to respond quickly to any questionable filings.

Lindsay doesn’t know how someone got her personal information. She said she’s going to file a police report, monitor her credit and remain on high alert over a stranger’s effort to collect benefits they don’t deserve.

“They would have been making a little over $1,000 a month and there is someone out there who needs that,” she said.

A spokesperson for the TWC said calls to the Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline should be returned within 48 hours.

Someone who suspects a fraudulent filing should call 1-800-252-3642 or send an email to TWC.fraud@TWC.state.tx.us

If you suspect your identity was stolen, visit the Federal Trade Commission website for a recovery plan.

The Texas Attorney General’s website includes information about asking for a free fraud alert with the three credit reporting agencies.

You can find the Texas Department of Public Safety’s identity theft information guide here.

If you believe someone has stolen your Social Security Number, you can contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-269-0271.

The TWC published this warning about job scams that can be used to obtain personal information.

The TWC also warns of calls from scammers who pretend to be TWC specialists.

NBC 5 Responds is committed to researching your concerns and recovering your money. Our goal is to get you answers and, if possible, solutions and resolution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out our Customer Complaint form.

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