Nationwide unemployment insurance fraud scheme

October 26, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

I am writing to provide guidance regarding fraudulent applications for unemployment benefits filed using the names of some members of our community.

Unfortunately, there is an unemployment insurance fraud scheme targeting unemployment assistance programs across the country during the pandemic. Those who are committing the fraud are believed to be using stolen personal information from earlier national data breaches. There is no indication that these fraudulent claims stem from any breach of MIT data.

What this means for MIT

The usual process for unemployment approval is that as soon as a person files a claim with the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), the DUA contacts Corporate Cost Control (CCC), our unemployment claims administrator, with information about the claim. CCC immediately alerts MIT to the claim and confirms whether the claim is legitimate. If it is not legitimate, CCC swiftly notifies the DUA of the fraud, and the claim is stopped.

Unfortunately, due to the dynamics of the pandemic, and in an effort to provide income to those who need it, there have been instances where the DUA has approved unemployment benefits before verifying that the individual is no longer employed. CCC and MIT are objecting to claims that are not legitimate as quickly as possible.

What to do if you have been targeted

If you receive correspondence from the DUA, such as a notice of application, an approval letter, or a DUA debit card, or if you otherwise learn that an unemployment claim has been filed in your name, please follow the guidance provided on the Massachusetts DUA website (or equivalent agency website in your home state). Please also email your Human Resources Officer (HRO) so that, if asked, they will know you have not left MIT. The HRO will also ask your department to contact you if they learn that a claim has been filed in your name fraudulently.

Additional information and guidance

MyLife Services is able to provide members of the MIT community with resources on identity protection and financial advising.

If you would like to further discuss your concerns with someone at MIT, please contact your HRO.

Sincerely,

Glen Shor
Executive Vice President and Treasurer