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Unemployment Insurance Scams

In an effort to protect claimants, employers, and their personal information, this document contains alerts for known scams related to collecting unemployment benefits.

Table of Contents

Scam Red Flags

  • Asking for a debit card, private bank information, or other method of payment in order to process a claim
  • Asking for an upload a copy of a driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, etc.
  • Telling you that you have to verify your identity within 24 hours to process their claim

Common Scam Techniques

Caller Asks You to Pay a Fee

There is no fee to file for unemployment benefits. If you get a phone call from someone presenting themselves as a representative of Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance telling you that you need to pay a fee to file for unemployment benefits, do not give any information to the caller or send money.

False Websites

There are several websites that advertise that they can assist claimants in filing for unemployment benefits. Some of those sites offer services free of charge and others do charge for the services. The sites often ask for confidential/private information such as your social security number, address, work history and email address. Use only the official Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance to file for benefits. 

Emails and Text Messages

We WILL NOT ask you for personal or private information or details about your bank or credit card accounts by email or text message. If you receive an email or text message and you are unsure if it came from the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance, contact a claims specialist.

Email Scams

  • If you receive an email from an individual or service regarding your method of payment for receipt of unemployment benefits from Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance, do not respond. The email advises claimants to enroll in a direct deposit card program online and lists a mailing address in Las Vegas, NV. This communication did not come from the Massachusetts DUA and we will never communicate with you via email regarding direct deposit.
  • In Arizona, there was a reported email scam which advises the recipient that their UI benefit application was received, but not complete. It provides links within the email to “continue the unemployment filing process”. DUA will not send emails asking you to click on a “link” within the message body. 
  • There have been several complaints in Wisconsin of individuals receiving false emails stating that they had won a $1,000 Visa gift card free of charge. The individuals were directed to a website to claim the gift card. The website malware attempts to download to their computer. These emails are not from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DWD, or the Department of Unemployment Assistance. Gift cards or other “gifts” are not being given away.

Applying for Debit Cards

A recent scam directs claimants to a website (unemploymentclaims.org) to apply for a debit card. The scam company then charges for no activity on the card.

False Job Offers

If you receive a call from someone presenting as an employee of Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance offering employment but requesting your credit card number and personal information in order to be hired, do not provide the information. Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance would not ask you for your credit card information.

Paid Online Surveys

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance does not pay claimants to take surveys. If you receive an email requesting that you complete an online survey seeming to be from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DWD, or Unemployment Insurance which promises to pay you to complete the survey, do not complete the survey. This is likely an attempt to get your personal information.

ATM Threats

Protect yourself when using your Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Debit Card and any other personal debit or credit cards. Be discreet when entering your PIN or withdrawing cash at an ATM. If an ATM or even a gas pump looks suspicious, do not use it! Criminals try to steal information about your credit or debit card through skimming, copying information from the magnetic strips, in order to gain access to your account.

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