DLI urges Montanans to exercise caution to protect personal information from UI fraudsters

HELENA – The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) today advised Montanans to protect their personal information in response to an increase in reported criminal activity regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim fraud.

“Over the past week, DLI has seen a significant rise in reports of imposter fraud. This is where bad actors apply for unemployment benefits using someone else’s identity and personal information stolen from sources outside of the agency,” said Acting DLI Commissioner Brenda Nordlund. “This activity is not unique to Montana. States across the country are facing a barrage of imposter claims.”

Additionally, DLI is warning Montanans that with the rise in UI claims and enhanced benefits, bad actors may pose as department representatives and contact someone and attempt to obtain personal information.

“Many Montanans may not know their information has been stolen, and we will be alerting individuals who may be victims of imposter claims,” Nordlund said. “Our agency has controls and processes in place to prevent, identify, and block fraud. Unfortunately, bad actors continuously look for new ways to circumvent our efforts.”

DLI is implementing these additional steps to protect Montanans’ personal information and combat imposter fraud:

                  Increasing the number of investigators on our fraud investigation team.

                  Cross-matching data with other state agencies and across the country to detect fraud activity.

DLI advises Montanans not to reveal any personal information if contacted by anyone identifying themselves as a UI fraud investigator. Instead, tell the caller that you will immediately call them back at the official UI Claim fraud number at (406) 444-0072. In addition, those that receive emails from UI staff members should remember that all official emails are sent from @mt.gov email addresses.

DLI has also received reports of fraudsters offering to help UI claimants and businesses by sending them to fake websites that request personal information. Official DLI websites that are trusted sources of information and services include:

                  MontanaWorks.gov – UI Claimant portal

                  mtpua.mt.gov – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance UI portal

                  uieservices.mt.gov – State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) electronic services for employers

                  dli.mt.gov – main DLI website

DLI is encouraging those that believe they may be a victim of imposter fraud to report it at uid.dli.mt.gov/report-fraud immediately. Individuals can also file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov. Those that are victims of UI imposter fraud are not required to repay the stolen money. Those that are victims of fraud and then must apply for UI benefits are still able to do so.
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