Cyber security expert says be proactive to prevent unemployment fraud

One cyber security expert suggests being proactive when it comes to making sure your personal information has not been compromised through fraudulent unemployment benefits.

“Assume your information has been compromised,” said Bryan Seely.

Seely is the senior security architect at Cyemptive Technologies.

He says hackers already have victim’s information like names, addresses, and social security numbers. They’re just using it now to get unemployment benefits.

“They go and fill out whatever information they can, and people have been getting notices, ‘they need more information, a claim has been filed on your behalf,’ and really that’s the only way anyone even found out,” said Seely.

He says people should be proactive.

“Create the account on the ESD website first even if you don’t need it, even if you’re not going to apply for benefits. That will find out whether you have a compromised account or social security number. That’s useful information. I’d want to know when my account has been stolen,” said Seely.

To do this, go to the Employment Security Department website. From here, either sign into your Secure Access Washington Account or create one.

Also, you may already have a Secure Access Washington account and not realize it. This account is used by multiple government services, including the Department of Licensing.

From there, you’re able to look up activity connected to your account. If you don’t recognize it, take action.

“Report fraud immediately because you won’t be liable. If you don’t check, you won’t know,” said Seely.

For information on how to report fraud click here.