Help Fight Fraud

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At the EDD, we are dedicated to combatting fraudulent activity and protecting benefits for legitimate California workers in need.

We are continuing to strengthen our fraud detection methods and apply them to new and existing claims to further reduce the benefits fraud that has plagued unemployment systems.

COVID-19-Related Fraud Updates

The implementation of ID.me to help us validate the identity of individuals filing a new claim for unemployment benefits is successfully helping us fight fraud on the front end of a claim. We are also using Thomson Reuter’s fraud criteria to validate other claimant information, as well as review existing claims through the pandemic and taking action on highly suspect claims.

To avoid fraudulent payments, we stopped payment on high-risk claims and are requiring identity verification or other eligibility determinations to continue payments.

  • If you filed a claim and we need additional information, we will send requests through the mail or through your UI Online account.
  • If you received a message in your UI Online account to verify your identity with ID.me, we’re extending the deadline. You now have 30 days of the notice date to validate your identity before you are issued a notice of disqualification. For faster completion, review the ID.me user guide (PDF) to complete the verification process online. If you still need to speak with a trusted referee, you may use a phone, laptop, or tablet.
  • The EDD wants to alert claimants to be aware of scammers at work trying to impersonate EDD and ID.me and get you to divulge your personal identifying information. 
    • If we call you, your caller ID may show “St of CA EDD” or the UI Customer Service number 1-800-300-5616 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • If you opted in for SMS text alerts, messages are sent from 510-74 or 918-06 to the phone number you included on your unemployment claim.
    • The EDD will not send representatives to your home or contact you via social media or other websites.

Note: The national credit reporting agencies Transunion, Experian, and Equifax are offering no-cost credit monitoring services through April 2021.

Victims of Identity Theft

If you receive mail or a Form 1099G from the EDD, but you did not file a claim for benefits and you think someone else filed a claim under your name, address, or Social Security number, file a fraud report:

If we find you were a victim of fraud, we will remove the claim from your Social Security number and send you an updated 1099G, if needed. Review IRS tax guidance on benefit identity theft.

For more information about protecting yourself from identity theft, review the California Attorney General’s Identity Theft Information Sheets and Credit Scores and Reports.

Types of Fraud

You are committing fraud if you:

  • Make a false statement
  • Provide wrong information
  • Withhold facts

Unemployment Claims

To avoid fraud charges and penalties, report all income including self-employment and independent contractor work. Also, keep a record of the work and wages earned for each day to ensure accuracy. For more information, visit How to Report Work and Wages.

If you think you may have accidentally committed Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud, contact us immediately.

Disability or Paid Family Leave Claims

It is a violation if you purposely make a false statement or knowingly conceal facts in order to obtain the payment of EDD benefits whether for yourself or any other person.

Examples include:

  • Filing a claim with Disability Insurance for an injury or illness that does not exist.
  • Helping another person file a false claim.

Unemployment, Disability, or Paid Family Leave Claims

When an identity thief files an imposter unemployment claim for one of your employees, it can increase your tax rates.

To combat fraud, please contact us immediately if the claimant:

  • Has never been your employee.
  • Has been terminated, laid off or has quit their job.
  • Is receiving wages.
  • Has not stopped working.
  • Is known to be working for another employer.
  • Has filed for workers’ compensation or is believed to be planning to do so.
  • Is using a Social Security number incorrectly.
  • Is working under another name.

For more information on prevent identity theft, review How You Can Prevent Unemployment Insurance Imposter Fraud (DE 2360ER) (PDF).

Payroll Taxes

You are committing tax fraud if you do not register with the state, deal in cash-only, or use other schemes to not pay your fair share of payroll taxes.

Examples include:

  • Filing false payroll returns.
  • Operating as part of the underground economy and paying employees in cash or under-the-table to avoid paying taxes.
  • Practicing rate manipulation schemes.
  • Neglecting to report all wages paid and to pay payroll taxes.
  • Intentionally misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

To prevent fraud, please respond immediately if:

  • You are not the physician/practitioner of the care recipient shown on the correspondence from the State Disability Insurance office.
  • The patient:
    • Is no longer under your care and treatment.
    • Has recovered from their disability.
    • Has not stopped working.
    • Is known to be working for another employer.
    • Has filed for Workers’ Compensation or is believed to be planning to do so.
    • Is using a Social Security number incorrectly.
    • Is working under another name.

You may be asked to verify that you submitted medical data, answer some brief medical questions, or submit copies of medical records.

Individuals and employers are legally responsible for making sure they follow the requirements set by State law (California Unemployment Insurance Code, sections 2101, 2116, 2122, and 1143).

How to Report Fraud

The best way to report fraud to us is by completing our Fraud Reporting Form. You can also call the EDD Fraud Hotline at 1-800-229-6297 or fax 1-866-340-5484.

When reporting fraud:

  • Provide all relevant information about the issue. Your report will be anonymous unless you include your name and phone number.
  • Send any fraudulent documents or mail to EDD PO Box 826880, MIC 43, Sacramento, CA 94280-0225. You can also write “Return to Sender” on the envelope and provide it to your mail carrier.
  • Write “Return to sender” on the envelope of any mail you receive that does not pertain to you and provide it to your mail carrier.

If you need to provide more information after reporting fraud, contact us again. Include the reference number provided when you first reported the issue.

Note: To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of any investigation, the EDD does not provide status updates unless court-ordered or required by law.

If you are a victim of identity theft, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (or 1-877-438-4338).

Penalties and Prosecution

Purposefully providing false information or not reporting information to the EDD is committing fraud. If you commit fraud, you could face a variety of serious penalties including:

  • Prosecution by government authorities.
  • Jail or prison sentences.
  • Repaying the benefits collected, plus penalties and fines.
  • Loss of future income tax refunds.
  • Losing eligibility to collect benefits in the future.

Anyone who receives fraudulent benefit payments or avoids payroll tax reporting obligations will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. For more information, visit Recent Fraud Convictions.

Additional Resources