Bellingham, WA (May 15, 2020) – Over the last week, WECU has been contacted by several local educators who were notified that unemployment claims were filed fraudulently in their name. To take advantage of the several teachers out of work due to COVID-19, fraudsters are using stolen personal information to put in claims to the state’s unemployment office. Funds are then routed to their accounts, rather than the teacher’s.
This includes educators and staff at all levels, including those at Western Washington University.
If you believe you’re a victim, Chuck Lanham, Vice Provost Information Technology & CIO at WWU suggests contacting the Economic Security Department.
“I also suggest victims consider reviewing their credit reports and placing a free credit freeze on their credit files at the big three credit bureaus if they haven’t done so already,” Lanham said. “While a credit freeze would not stop unemployment fraud, it could protect their credit if their data is being used in other damaging ways.”
If you have reason to believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits using your information or used a scam to obtain your private information, visit https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud.
With more than 130,000 members and more than $1.8 billion in assets, WECU is the largest not-for-profit credit union in Whatcom County. WECU has 415 local employees and gave close to $500,000 to various local nonprofits and community groups in 2019.
Keith Mader, Program Manager PR & Content at WECU, 360-756-7694, [email protected]