Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, identity theft and fraud have increased dramatically. Massachusetts in particular has experienced a high incidence of fraudulent unemployment claims (people filing for unemployment benefits under a stolen identity).

Employers and employees must be vigilant to make sure that their businesses and personal credit have not been harmed by data breaches.  
For example, employers should check their DUA account regularly for false claims and review the list of breach notifications. Furthermore, employers and employees alike should review their credit reports.

Massachusetts is now using debit cards to pay unemployment benefits. If an employee receives a debit card from Mass. DUA but did not submit an unemployment claim, that’s a red flag that a fraudulent claim has been filed using that person’s identity. How to report unemployment fraud in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts employers were sent a letter by the DUA with detailed instructions for handling fraudulent or improper unemployment claims, covering these situations:

  • If an employer has received a “confirmation of employment” letter
  • If an employer has received a “lack of work” letter
  • If an employer or employee is responding to a “fact finding” letter
  • If an employer disagrees with a “monetary determination” letter
  • If an employer is protesting a claim as a result of a “benefit charge statement” 

Click here for the letter.

What to do if you believe you are a victim of fraud (including links to credit bureaus and where to get credit reports).

Click here for a list of data breaches that have occurred this year in Massachusetts. 

This list includes information about what type of data has been compromised. If the businesses or financial institutions you do business with are on the list, you should check with those businesses and also change your login credentials.

There are also companies that continually monitor credit to identify possible ID theft such as LifeLock, Identity Guard, Identity Defense, and others. We do not recommend any of these sites, but employees may want to consider this option.

PayPlus HAS NOT had a breach of any client information.