New online identification tool aims to prevent unemployment fraud

New York State Department of Labor (DOL) will use a new online tool to help prevent unemployment benefit fraud.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 10:52 AM
Updated: Feb 25, 2021 10:57 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York State Department of Labor (DOL) will use a new online tool to help prevent unemployment benefit fraud by quickly verifying the identity of the person applying.

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, the DOL identified more than 500,000 fraudulent unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic, which could have resulted in $6.4 billion in illegal payments.

Those filing for unemployment will now receive and email or text message from DOL sending them to a site called ID.me to verify their identity, instead of sending in documentation that takes weeks to process.

According to its website, ID.me provides “secure digital identity verification to help government agencies make sure you’re you – and not someone pretending to be you – when you request access to government services online.”

According to fraud investigators, people attempting to file fraudulent claims often use information stolen during data breaches from banks or insurance companies. So if a fraudulent claim has been filed, some people may receive an unemployment determination letter from DOL even if they haven’t applied themselves. If this happens, it should be reported immediately.

To report unemployment fraud or identity theft, click here.

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County data is updated nightly.

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