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HR ALERT: Fraudulent Unemployment Claims on the Rise in Arkansas

Several of our clients have become aware of fraudulent unemployment claims linked to their employer accounts with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS). These fraudulent claims are filed using the stolen names, social security numbers, and addresses of former or current employees. Due to the high number of claims for unemployment benefits being processed at the present time, many of these fraudulent (and illegal) claims have unfortunately been processed by DWS.

In the weeks that follow the filing of the fraudulent claim, employers receive a notice the employee has filed for unemployment benefits. It is crucial you pay attention to these notices and verify each claim you receive. Failure to recognize a fraudulent claim may impact your experience rating, which then could impact your tax rate.

If you recognize a fraudulent claim, you should notify the impacted individual and report the fraudulent claim.  DWS recommends returning the form to DWS with “Fraud” written across the top of the page. Remember to keep a copy for your own records, including confirmation of the date and time you provided notice to DWS that the claim is fraudulent. DWS has issued a statement and offered guidance for employers and employees targeted with fraudulent claims and also recommends reporting the fraud via email to ADWS.InternalAudit@arkansas.gov or by calling (501) 682-1058. We recommend a method that allows for documentation of your report. 

DWS also advises that any individual who has had a fraudulent unemployment claim filed on his/her behalf file a police report and provide a copy of the police report to DWS as soon as possible.  

If you have a question about unemployment fraud or any other issue relating to employment law, please contact an attorney at our Firm.