Help Fight Fraud

We are dedicated to combating fraudulent activity and protecting benefits for legitimate California workers in need. For additional information, visit The EDD’s Response to Fraud.

We continue to strengthen our fraud detection methods as scammers evolve. They use stolen personal identity information from a number of illicit sources and attack benefit programs across the country.

We encourage Californians to remain vigilant and safeguard financial and personal information to help prevent fraud, including identity theft.

How to Report Fraud

If you receive documents from the EDD but did not file a claim for benefits, someone may have filed a claim under your name, address, or Social Security number. To report benefits fraud, visit Report Fraud in Ask EDD. You can also call the EDD Fraud Hotline at 1-800-229-6297.

Important: If you’ve received a Form 1099G (tax document) but you did not file a claim, there is a different process for reporting fraud. Visit Form 1099G in Ask EDD or call 1-866-401-2849, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on state holidays.

  • 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 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.

How to Avoid Scams

Scammers attempt to get your personal identifying information for a number of criminal reasons, including applying for benefits in your name.

When a fraudulent claim is filed for disability benefits for example, scammers may have also stolen the credential information of medical providers, who are an important part of the eligibility verification process for benefit payments. To combat such fraud attempts, we will contact recent medical providers who’ve registered in our system to confirm their medical provider status.

By being watchful, you too can help stop criminals and avoid identity theft. To protect yourself, follow these tips when communicating with the EDD or our contractors, including who helps EDD with validating identity:

  • Do not respond to communication on social media or phone apps. The EDD does not reach out to claimants this way.
  • Do not share your username or password with anyone to avoid the potential for fraud or identity theft.
  • If a stranger visits your home claiming they accidentally used your address or asks about mail delivered by mistake, do not provide them with any information. Report this to the EDD immediately by completing a Report Fraud form.
  • Do not respond to text messages. Text messages asking people to activate a benefits debit card by clicking a link are scams. Money Network, Bank of America, and the EDD never text message people to reactivate a debit card.
  • Text alerts are only sent from 510-74 or 918-06 for Unemployment Insurance, and 35954 or 95937 for Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave.
  • Make sure any website links take you to a web address with “” before selecting it.
    • EDD text messages only link to websites that include “”.
  • If we call you about an unemployment claim, your caller ID may show “St of CA EDD” or the UI Customer Service Center 1-800-300-5616 or 833-978-2511 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The EDD will not send representatives to your home.

For more tips, refer to What You Should Know about Unemployment Scammers (PDF).

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

Note: The national credit reporting agencies Transunion, Experian, and Equifax are offering no-cost credit monitoring services through December 2023.

How to Avoid Committing Fraud

Beyond situations that involve identity theft, 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 DI 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).

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.

To learn more about our efforts to prevent fraud and hold fraudsters accountable, visit The EDD’s Response to Fraud.

Additional Resources