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Employees advised to watch for unemployment fraud and phone scams

June 23, 2020

UW–Madison has become aware of several attempts to obtain employee information through phone scams related to unemployment benefits. In addition, stolen employee information has been used in an attempt to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.

In a typical phone scam, an employee will receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The caller may state that the DWD has no record of UW employment and ask for the employee’s Social Security number so that they can receive unemployment benefits. The DWD will never contact employees by phone to request personal or financial information. Any UW employee who receives a call asking for a Social Security number or other personal information related to unemployment benefits should hang up immediately.

In a fraud attempt, someone else applies for unemployment benefits using stolen employee information. If an employee becomes aware that someone is using their identity to collect unemployment benefits, they should report this immediately to the DWD at or call the Fraud Hotline at 800-909-9472. The employee should also file a police report for identity theft.

UW–Madison is tracking unemployment phone scams and fraud attempts. Employees who experience any of these problems are asked to send an email to or speak with their human resources representative. Language assistance is available from Cultural Linguistic Services at