Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

SMU has noticed a significant increase in the number of fraudulent unemployment claims filed under the names of our current employees. We are not alone; this type of fraudulent activity is occurring across the nation, including at many universities. There has been no evidence of an active breach in SMU’s systems. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reports that potential fraud was connected to more than 475,000 unemployment claims in Texas this year.

If SMU receives an unemployment claim for a person who has been continuously employed by the University, HR notifies the unemployment agency that the claim is fraudulent and advises the affected employee. However, because we may not receive notice of all fraudulent filings, you are urged to take the steps below if you receive mail from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) or other state agency about unemployment claims. Now is also a good time to refresh your personal passwords and take other measures recommended by the Texas Attorney General to prevent identity theft.

  1. If you are current employee, please contact the SMU HR department via phone at 214-768-3311 so SMU can file a fraud claim.
  2. If you receive a letter from TWC asking for repayment based on a fraudulent claim, follow the instructions included in it on how to appeal the decision or contact SMU HR for assistance.
  3. Report any fraudulent claim to the TWC either online or over the phone. To report unemployment benefits fraud or related issues, you can report online at (English) or (Spanish), Call 1-800-252-3642 or ema


  4. File an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at or 877-ID-THEFT. The FTC can help implement fraud prevention tools, including placing a fraud alert or freeze on your credit accounts, reviewing your credit reports, and assisting you as needed with closing any fraudulent accounts opened in your name.


  5. Utilize the Employee Assistance Resources available by selecting either the LegalEASE and/or Allstate Protection Plan for resources and support due to Identity Theft.


  6. File a fraud report with the local police or sheriff department, drivers’ license office, and other agencies. More information on reporting Identity Theft is available from the Texas Department of Public Safety.


  7. Contact major credit bureaus such as Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, since the breach may involve social security numbers, birth dates, and other personal information.


  8. Contact your banking institution and any creditors to make them aware of the situation.


  9. Review the U.S. Department of Justice Unemployment Insurance Fraud Consumer Protection Guide.


  10. Request a FREE credit report at and determine if any accounts were opened without your consent. Remember that you are able to review free credit reports on a weekly basis at least until April 22 (due to the pandemic). After weekly access ends, you are still able to access free credit reports at least once every twelve (12) months from Experian or TransUnion and up to six (6) times in twelve (12) months from Equifax.


  11. If you receive an IRS Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, that reflects an amount in “Box 1,” but you did not file for or receive unemployment insurance benefits for the applicable year, you should contact the TWC to request a corrected Form 1099-G (reporting $0 in unemployment insurance benefits to the IRS).

    In order to request a corrected Form 1099-G, you will need to file a fraudulent claim report with the TWC as noted above. Even if you do not receive a corrected Form 1099-G, the IRS advises that your tax return should only reflect the income you actually received during the year and should exclude fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits that you did not receive.Please be aware that this may result in a “mismatch” with the IRS records and may delay your return’s processing until such time as the IRS receives the corrected Form 1099-G from the TWC.


SMU Human Resources is available to help our employees protect their personal information and report fraudulent claims. Contact us at or 214-768-3311 for any questions.