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3 Ways to Tackle Unemployment Fraud
By Michelle Higgins

Throughout the pandemic, many people have stepped up to go the extra mile for loved ones and strangers alike. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have also stepped up their game.

Cyber criminals have counterbalanced the good with the bad by seizing the opportunity the pandemic created in terms of more unemployment claims. The changes, chaos, and uncertainty businesses experienced because of the pandemic opened the door for criminal activities, such as identity theft.

Remote employees may let their guards down when it comes to safe computer practices. Layoffs and closures have brought an increase in unemployment claims, creating more chances for fraud to occur.

Here are some tips businesses can use to help employees avoid being victims of fraud:
  1. Alert employees. Tell employees about potential unemployment scams. Ask them to report fraudulent benefits claims to HR as soon as they learn about them. HR should flag any notice from the state about a claim supposedly filed by a current employee. Immediately notify the employee about any suspicious claims.
  2. Report the fraud. Check the state unemployment agency’s website for fraud reporting instructions. Unemployment laws vary by state, so if you have employees in multiple states you will need to work with their respective agencies when issues arise that put workers at risk. Depending on the state, the agency may want to get the fraud report from the employer, the employee, or both.
  3. Check company cyber security. Fraud is a sharp reminder that sensitive personal information in the wrong hands can result in tremendous harm. With so many people telecommuting, employers may want to start by sharing tips to help employees maintain security when working from home.
Following these steps can help employers and employees ward off cyber criminals’ nasty plans.

Michelle Higgins is an editor at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. She specializes in wage, hour, and benefit issues.




 
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