Date: April 22, 2021
Media Contact: James Bernsen
Reporting Fraud to TWC is Just the First Step
To Protecting Yourself Online
Austin – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has issued guidance to individuals who discover they are the victims of identity theft and now need unemployment benefits. Identity theft fraud is now being perpetuated at record rates, but TWC systems have not been compromised and the agency catches and blocks most fraud before any dollars are paid out.
TWC identifies ID theft fraud in one of three ways: employer reporting, individual reporting, or internal investigations by TWC’s Regulatory Integrity Division (RID). When a case is identified as being fraud, the account in question is locked down to block funds from going out. This stops fraud, but will require additional verification if the correct individual later needs benefits.
TWC uses a web application called ID.me to verify identities in such cases. ID.me is a secure, American-based company that has an exemplary record of service to state agencies such as DMVs across the country. If you apply for benefits and your identity is locked due to fraud, TWC may ask you to verify your identity through ID.me. The process is fast, easy, and secure. The service is free and ensures you are the only one who can access your unemployment claim information.
If you are claiming unemployment benefits and received a letter from TWC advising you to verify your identity using ID.me, please go to ID.me to verify your identity. If you did not file a claim for unemployment benefits but received a letter from TWC asking you to verify your identity using ID.me, you should not complete the verification using ID.me. Instead, you should report the ID theft claim on TWC’s online portal. See the Suspected ID Theft on Unemployment Benefits Claim section for more information about reporting the ID Theft claim.
Important: Do not use ID.me on initial claims if you have not been requested by TWC to do so. It may delay your claim.
Most claimants can verify their identity using the ID.me self-service webpage. You will need to submit photos of your:
- A government-issued ID (driver license or passport)
- Financial and utility records (credit bureaus and mobile telecom providers)
- Biometric verification (a photo of yourself, i.e. a “selfie” that matches the government-issued ID sent for #1)
You might not be able to have your identity verified using the self-service webpage if:
- The photos of your government-issued ID or your personal photo (“selfie”) are blurry or shadowed
- If you have credit issues, such as no credit or frozen credit or your credit information is incorrect
- Or if the phone number you submit is not associated with your name.
If you cannot use the self-service option, you may be able to verify your identity during a video conference call with ID.me. To verify your identity using a video call, you will need:
- Two primary forms of valid, unexpired IDs
- A smart phone or tablet to take pictures
- A device that will allow you to join a video call, such as a computer with a webcam and microphone or a phone with a camera.
- For the video call, you will need to upload pictures of your IDs, take a photo of yourself (selfie) and submit it, and be able to answer some questions verbally.
All Texans should take steps to secure their identity online by practicing Internet security best practices. Treat your TWC account and all accounts like you would your bank account. The Texas Workforce Commission will investigate every unemployment benefit claim to confirm identity and to lock accounts that are fraudulent.
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.