Identity Theft

Identity Theft Resources

Companies are receiving impostor claims through state labor departments for employees who are working and are not eligible. The fraudulent applications are filed using employee information including social security numbers, dates of birth and the name of their employer. This is a nationwide issue affecting people in multiple states. The following is a list of resources and some steps you can take.

Maine DOL

The Maine Department of Labor is urging anyone who believes that someone has used their identity to fraudulently apply for or obtain unemployment benefits to let MDOL know here: https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/idtheft/.

Federal Trade Commission

Since your personal information has been compromised and/or misused, we recommend that you notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by visiting https://www.identitytheft.gov/ and filing a complaint. Please follow the instructions for completing the FTC’s ID Theft Complaint Form. If you prefer, you can file your complaint by calling the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338. A printed version of your complaint is only available if you file your complaint online. Within two days of submitting your complaint, you will receive a confirmation notice from the FTC with the reference number assigned to your complaint.

ChexSystems

If you would like to obtain a copy of your ChexSystems Consumer Report and/or place a 90-day alert on your file. This is a vendor that many financial institutions utilize when a person goes in to open an account. It will alert the institution of possible fraud. You may do so two ways:

Via the Internet: Please visit the following site: https://www.chexsystems.com. Follow the instructions to place the 90-day alert and complete the required form to request a copy of your report. Once the form has been submitted, you will receive your consumer report in the mail within five business days.

By Phone: You may contact ChexSystems to obtain a copy of your consumer report by calling 1-800-428-9623. If you would like to place a fraud alert, please call 1-888-478-6536. You will be asked a brief set of questions to identify you and to establish a special password that will be used to identify you in the future.

You can also obtain a free copy of all three reports once a year by phone at 1-877-322-8228 or by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

A security freeze is placed to prevent credit, loans and services from being opened in your name without your permission. To add a security freeze, you will need to contact each credit bureau separately – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The security freeze can be added online or by phone. Below are the security freeze websites and phone numbers for each credit bureau:

Equifax

Website:  https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp

Phone number: 1-800-349-9960

Experian

Website: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

Phone number: 1 888 397 3742 Option 2

TransUnion

Website: http://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze

Phone number: 1-888-909-8872

Detailed below are a few things to keep in mind when placing a Security Freeze on your credit file:

  • Adding a security freeze to your credit file may delay, interfere with or prohibit the timely approval of any request or application for a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular telephone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transactions or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale.
  • Companies that you already have a business relationship with may view your credit report for account review purposes. A consumer’s information may be used for the purposes of pre-screening as provided for by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, even if a security freeze is on the report.
  • A security freeze is not 100% fail-safe. Creditors can issue credit without pulling a credit report.
  • You will need to contact each credit bureau to add, temporarily lift or remove the security freeze from your credit file.
  • You will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to temporarily lift or remove the security freeze from your file.
  • The credit bureau has three business days after the receipt of your request to lift or remove a security freeze.

Social Security Administration

Go to SSA.gov and create an account with the Social Security Administration. This needs to be done prior to the credit report freeze or immediately after. This way the fraudster cannot set up an account with them. Some resources to assist you from the SSA:

https://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse/reporting-other-issues/identity-theft

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS has established a web site to address identity theft:  https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-central.

You can file an Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039) with the Department of the treasury Internal Revenue Service to notify them in the event an attempt is made to fraudulently apply for taxes. The form is also available at the IRS web site: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf

Local Police and FBI

You may consider filing a report with your local police who have jurisdiction in the town where you reside. You may also consider filing a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx)

if you have enough information to do so.

Equifax Security Breach

The source of the employee information is not known but officials have suggested that the Equifax security breach of 2017 may be one source of employee information used to file the fraudulent claims. You can check whether Equifax has indicated your information was compromised during this specific breach at the following web site: https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility

 

(Updated 5-29-2020)