Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions by money expert Clark Howard.
Ask Clark: A Scammer Filed a Fraudulent Unemployment Claim in My Name. What Should I Do?
Tom from Alaska asks: “I recently learned that my personal information was used by a scammer to file a fraudulent unemployment claim in my name. I contacted the fraud division in my state’s department of labor, who terminated the claim and told me there’s been an explosion in unemployment fraud since last spring.
“I’m concerned now that my personal information used in that fraud may be used in another scam. I froze my credit three years ago, and I just changed my passwords on my financial accounts. I added two-factor authentication on those because I hadn’t been using that before. What other things should I do to protect myself?”
Clark’s Take on How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Fraud
Clark says the steps Tom has already taken are the right way to go.
Clark says: “The fact that you have your credit frozen is essential and important, but it would not prevent somebody from pretending to be you filing for unemployment insurance. The good news is that you shut that down cold, and it should mean that there are no other issues or problems with your identity.”
Clark recommended that the caller “temporarily thaw your credit files so you can set up a Credit Karma account, where for free you’ll be able to monitor your credit, and you’ll know if any funny stuff is going on. You’ll also be able to track your credit scores [and get] a facsimile of them for free from two of the three credit bureaus.”
To learn more about how to protect your identity and credit, read about how to freeze your credit.
To hear Clark’s full take on this question, listen here:
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