TWC Warns Texans to Be Aware of False Unemployment Benefits Websites
AUSTIN, January 27, 2015 - The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) warns Texans’ seeking unemployment benefits to be aware of third-party vendors offering assistance. Unemployment insurance (UI) claims should be filed through the TWC website or by phone, and never through a third-party.
Individuals in Texas have reported receiving emails soliciting personal information from a third-party vendor who is not affiliated with TWC called the Unemployment Advisory Department, with an email address email@example.com. Emails stated the claimant’s initial benefits application was received, but not complete, and provided links to complete the filing process. TWC advises claimants to ignore these emails. TWC does not send these types of emails and would never require confidential information be shared with a third-party to obtain unemployment benefits.
Claimants should be wary of online third-party UI benefits resource centers who usually charge a fee for providing advice and job services to applicants in the U.S. Websites typically request personal identifiers and credit card information that could be used for identity theft. These websites are not associated with TWC or any other state workforce agency.
In a related incident, one Texas claimant was asked to purchase a credit report and to get a health insurance quote before filing a claim. TWC does not require individuals to purchase anything or pay a fee to file for unemployment benefits. These websites are selling information and services provided for free by TWC and other state agencies.
Individuals having attempted to apply for UI benefits using a third-party website need to contact TWC at 800-939-6631 or 512-463-2236 to submit their claim.
Confidential information given to a third-party website could be used for identity theft. An online Identity Theft Information Guide from the Texas Department of Public Safety provides useful tips, if you believe you are a victim of identity theft.
TWC administers UI benefits to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and are actively seeking work. To file a claim or to find out more about unemployment benefits go to www.texasworkforce.org/unemploymentbenefits.
To avoid becoming a victim of scams, visit the Texas Office of the Attorney General online at www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/scams.shtml or www.onguardonline.gov, managed by the Federal Trade Commission, for more information.