Notification of Increase in Unemployment Fraud/Identity Theft

Human Resources Services would like to make you aware of a recent increase in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims that have been filed across the State of Illinois, including for some employees of NIU.  As a result, we encourage all employees to be on alert and watch for mailings from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and/or the State of Illinois Comptroller Office for possible fraudulent activity.  We also recommend that you regularly monitor your credit reports and financial accounts for any unexpected activity.

How do I know if I have been a target for unemployment insurance identity theft?

If you receive any of the following, but have not applied for unemployment benefits through IDES, it is possible that you are a target for unemployment insurance fraud:

  • A debit card or direct deposit from IDES
  • An unemployment insurance (UI) finding letter from IDES
  • IRS correspondence regarding unreported unemployment benefits
  • Notice of State or Federal tax offset

What steps should I take if a claim has been submitted using my information?

  1. Report the fraudulent activity by completing the contact form on the IDES website or by calling IDES Benefits Payment Control Division at (800) 814-0513 and when prompted:
    1. Select the English or Spanish language option
    2. Select option 1 for claimants
    3. Select option 5 to report identity theft

*Do NOT use both methods of reporting as it may cause delays in reviewing your case.

  1. File a police report with your local police department.
  2. Have your credit report checked for other possible fraudulent activity and request a fraud alert.

What is Human Resources Services doing when a fraudulent claim is identified?

Human Resource Services reviews all unemployment claims filed with IDES on a daily basis.  If a claim is submitted and the employee is actively working for NIU, the claim is marked as fraud in the IDES system and the Payroll department will email the employee to notify them of the claim as well as provide relevant details on the claim that was filed.

Human Resource Services has also been actively reporting this activity to the Information Security department within the Division of Information Technology and the department of Public Safety.  If you have been a target of unemployment insurance identity theft, please follow the steps above to protect yourself as soon as possible.

For additional information on reporting unemployment insurance fraud, please visit the IDES website.  Even if you have not been a target for unemployment insurance fraud, the IDES website has helpful information and a video with additional information on how to take action to protect your personal information.  For further assistance or questions about this announcement please contact

Thank you for your service to the NIU community.

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