We got a letter yesterday from NJ Dept of Labor asking to verify my spouse's unemployment claim. Thing is, spouse is working and has made NO claims of unemployment!
The concerning thing is that the letter includes a correct Social Security number. We tried reaching out through the email address given on the letter but only got an auto-reply that was not helpful.
We can try to call DOL today but I imagine it may be difficult to get through to a person given how busy the unemployment offices are. Any idea of who else we could call about this troubling use of SS number and/or possible fraud?
It could be a scam. It is also possible that someone filed for unemployment using your spouse's social security number (identity theft) and the State agency got suspicious. Have you tried going to the agency's website to verify the mailing address in the header and the email address on the letter? There should be a legitimate way to contact the agency through their website. Given the possibility of identity theft, I would recommend following up; but, not using the contact information in the letter.
I would consider a certified, return response letter to the D. of L. to confirm he did not submit a claim. Also, a visit to the police building to file a report. These action are to protect you in (unlikely) event of fraud actions against you.
Then, contact the credit bureaus and put a "freeze" on your S.S. number.
Can the credit bureaus put a freeze on your social security number or is their action limited to freezing your credit?
What formerlyjerseyjack said. It sure sounds like possible identity theft, though it could be error given how overloaded everyone is. If ID theft, then police report and credit freezes are definitely the way to go, in addition to verifiable contact with DOL (return receipt mail, email...).
Have you looked at your credit report?
Good luck! This can be pretty time-consuming but not necessarily a dire outcome.
Identity theft seems so common now and generally, I do not know how to stop it and I am no expert on this. This is why I bought the commonly advertised Lifelock (no endorsement intended) protection. I have had some issues with what looked like potential theft in the past. Identity theft seems to be one of the unhappy results of modern computer internet life.
On the overwhelmed side (instead of fraud side), possible someone entered the SS# wrong into the system (which ended up being your spouses SS#) and didn't verify the name matched what was on the form?
Thanks for all the suggestions! We went to police station to file a report, checked our credit reports, and sent in an on-line fraud alert. Also tried to call 50-plus times to no avail. Apparently there is a way to "freeze" your Social (directly thru Social Security Adm) so it can't be used to open any accounts--still looking at this and considering.
It definitely could have been some type of mistake-though it had all of our info, not just SS#. It definitely was official mail. But given the supposed age of the state's computer systems, it could have been something on their end. We recently received a car registration renewal form in the mail. I hadn't even noticed that the fee included was lower than the standard fee, when we got an "urgent" notification from the state that we had better pay the full fee, not the stated fee which was the senior fee. We are not seniors so that was generated by some kind of computer glitch I guess.
Update: I sent an email Thursday to NJ Dept of Labor. Got a response today from a real person! The application had already been shut down. Concern remains as to why SS# is floating around but we will monitor closely.
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