Unemployment Fraud/Identity Theft Update

In October, Human Resource Services alerted the campus to a recent increase in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims that had been filed across the state of Illinois, affecting some employees of NIU. Today we want to update you with some new information.

1099-G Tax Forms

All individuals who rightfully received unemployment insurance benefits in 2020 will receive a 1099-G tax form from IDES to complete their federal and state tax returns. IDES has indicated on their website that fraudulent funds are not reported as income to the IRS, and employees that have reported fraud will not receive a 1099-G form. However, if you did not file for unemployment insurance benefits in 2020, yet still receive a 1099-G form from IDES, this could be in error or may indicate that a fraudulent claim has been filed in your name. If you receive a 1099-G form in error, please visit the IDES website and call IDES at (800) 244-5631. For additional information, please also reference the 1099-G Tax Information that IDES has prepared.

Multiple Fraudulent Claims

We have now seen some instances where employees of NIU have been targeted more than once by fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. As we mentioned in the previous announcement, Human Resource Services reviews all unemployment claims filed with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) daily. 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 emails the employee to notify them of the fraudulent claim as well as provide relevant details on the claim that was filed. Please make sure you review our previous email and act immediately if you receive a notification from the NIU Payroll department.

Fraudulent Claims with Incorrect Employer Information

We have recently learned that fraudulent claims are now being filed with incorrect employer information. When this occurs, the actual employer, NIU in this case, is not notified by IDES of the claim. Because we are not aware of the claim, we are unable to classify the claim as fraudulent with IDES or notify the employee that the fraudulent claim has been filed. If you receive any of the following information, please act immediately to protect yourself:

  • 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.

You will need to contact IDES Benefits Payment Control Division at (800) 814-0513 to report the fraudulent claim. Additionally, if you receive any of the above information from IDES but have not been contacted by the NIU Payroll department, please email payroll@niu.edu to report the incident. The Payroll department will then be able to assist you by also notifying IDES of the fraudulent claim.

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 payroll@niu.edu.

Thank you for your service to the NIU community.

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