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Unemployment fraud

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed February 2023

How do I report unemployment fraud?

If someone used your name or information to apply for Unemployment:

  • Use the Department of Unemployment Assistance’s form or call (877) 626-6800 to report fraud.
  • Put a fraud alert on your credit report. The three credit reporting agencies are: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  Call one company and ask them to put a fraud alert on all three of your reports.
  • Call your local police department and file a police report about the fraud.

See the Massachusetts Report Identity Theft page.

I applied for Unemployment, but the Department of Unemployment Assistance needs me to prove my identity

If you applied for:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you can use your PUA Online Account.
  • Regular Unemployment Insurance you have to go log in to ID.me and follow their directions

How do I know which Unemployment I applied for?

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance “claim IDs” look like “A00-000-xxxx-xxxx.”

Regular UI “claimant id numbers” are on the top right of the letter you get from DUA. It is 8 numbers and it has no letters in it

How to prove your identity if you applied for PUA

Use your PUA Online Account to upload proof of your identity.

  1. Login to your PUA Online Account with your email and password.  ­­­­­
  2. Click the “fact finding” link on your home page.
  3. Upload the documents they ask for.

DUA also has instructions for proving identity on their website.

If DUA denies your claim, or “disqualifies” you from PUA, they send you a denial letter. If they denied your claim because you did not upload proof of your identity, the letter explains how to appeal their decision. See What if I cannot get unemployment insurance?: appealing a denial

How to prove your identity if you applied for Regular Unemployment Insurance

DUA will send you a letter or email and ask you to use the website ID.me to upload proof of your identity.

1. Collect:

  • Photos of the front and back of your driver's license or other government-issued photo ID.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • You also need your phone number and ​email address.

2. Set up an account on the Massachusetts DUA ID.me website

DUA id.me setting up account image.

  • Use your email address.
  • Use the same password you use for your Unemployment Insurance account.
  • They email you a link.
  • Click on the link.

3. Set up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Secure your account image.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) stops anyone else from getting into your account. Even if they have your username and password they cannot get into your account.

  • Choose “Text Message or Phone Call.”
  • Enter your phone number.
  • They will text or call you with a 6-digit code.
  • Enter the code into the webpage.

4. Verify your Identity

Upload photos of your picture ID or answer questions about your credit report.

Photos of your picture ID

  • Upload photos of the front and back of your ID, or
  • Enter your cell phone number to use your cell phone camera to take photos of your ID.

    Take photo image.

    • They will text you a link.
    • Tap the link.
    • Tap on “Take a photo” and focus the camera on the front of your photo ID to take a picture of the front of your ID.
    • Turn your ID over and tap on the Back side “Take a photo.” Focus your camera on it and take a picture of the back of your ID.
    • Click "Continue".
    • Enter your Social Security Number when they ask for it.

Answer questions about your credit report

  • Answer the multiple-choice questions about your loans, where you live, and your cars. 
  • Type in your Social Security Number when they ask for it.

5. Id.me may need more information from you.

Set up time ti talk image.

They may ask to set up a video session so they can see you and ask you questions. Id.me will ask you to pick a time for the session.

6. Almost done

  • Check the box “Accept” if the information about you is true.
  • Tap “Continue.”
  • Click “Allow and Continue” to send your information to DUA.

The Department of Unemployment Assistance also has PDF instructions to download to verify your identity using ID.me.

What do I do if I have an identity verification denial?

If you could not verify your identity for regular UI or PUA, you may still be eligible for benefits. If you supply the necessary documentation, DUA will redetermine the identity verification issue, even if you missed the appeal deadline.

You should file an appeal for the identity verification issue if you have not already. Even if your appeal is late, DUA should allow your appeal. DUA may schedule you for a hearing for the identity verification issue. You should be prepared to provide copies of the following:

  • Front and back of a valid government issued photo identification card;
  • Front and back of your Social Security card; and
  • If the address on your photo ID does not match the address on file with DUA, you may need to provide proof of your address, for example, a copy of your lease, bank statement, utility bill, etc.

You can also write to the Director of the DUA, Department of Unemployment Assistance, 100 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 and ask her/him to "redetermine the decision under Section 71 of the law."

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