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Iowa Unemployment Fraud

Iowa Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment fraud in Iowa is a pressing issue that involves the intentional act of giving false or incomplete information to collect Iowa unemployment insurance benefits.

Iowa Workforce Development is committed to fighting this fraudulent activity so UI benefits reach only those genuinely in need.

How to report Iowa unemployment fraud

Unemployment fraud in Iowa can be reported online, by mail, or by fax.

Report Iowa unemployment fraud online

By mail

Iowa Workforce Development
Attn: Fraud
?1000 E. Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

By Fax


When faxing, please include “Attention: Fraud”

You have the option to report fraud to Iowa Workforce Development without revealing your identity. However, anonymous reports limit the agency’s ability to get in touch for additional information.

To assist in investigating fraudulent claims, it’s helpful to provide:

  • The name and address of the person or business you suspect of fraud.
  • If you know it, the Social Security number and the name of the employer where the individual has worked over the past year.
  • Extra information that could aid in the investigation, including specific dates

What is Iowa unemployment fraud?

Here are some examples of unemployment fraud, according to Iowa Workforce Development policies:

  • Submitting a fraudulent unemployment claim using someone else’s personal information, such as their name, Social Security number, or job history.
  • Claiming you are actively seeking employment or able to work when you are not.
  • Being dishonest about fulfilling your weekly work search requirements
  • Failing to report the full amount of your earnings for the week when filing your weekly claim.
  • Intentionally giving false or no wage information when filing for UI benefits.
  • Making an unemployment claim on behalf of a person who is currently in jail.

Engaging in these fraudulent activities can result in overpayments and severe penalties, including legal action. If you suspect fraudulent activity, it’s important to report it to the Iowa Workforce Development’s inspector general.


If you receive unemployment benefits you’re not eligible for, you must pay back the money. For non-fraud overpayments, future benefits will offset what you owe. The state can also take money from your state and federal tax returns and even casino and lottery winnings, regardless of your payment plan or history. It is recommended that you use the Iowa unemployment calculator to estimate your payment so you know what to expect.

If you have a fraud-related overpayment, you won’t get any more unemployment benefits until you’ve paid off the entire amount, which includes any penalties, interest, and lien fees. Fraud overpayments also carry a 15% penalty, and you can’t use future unemployment benefits to offset this debt.

Consequences of committing Iowa unemployment fraud

Iowa Workforce Development takes unemployment fraud very seriously. If you are caught being dishonest on your Iowa unemployment application or weekly claim, you can face the following consequences:

  • Legal action might be taken by the state, which could lead to time behind bars in certain instances.
  • To settle your debt, both your state and federal tax refunds could be seized.
  • Additional unemployment insurance benefits may be off-limits until your outstanding debt is settled.
  • You’ll need to give back any received unemployment payments, plus interest and other required fines.

If you feel there has been a mistake and you disagree with a decision, you can file an appeal and present your case before an administrative law judge.

Unemployment Identity theft

Unemployment identity theft is when someone uses another individual’s personal information to file for unemployment benefits.

You might be a victim if you’ve experienced any of the following:

  • You’ve been regularly getting unemployment benefits, but suddenly your personal or bank information changes without your consent, stopping your payments.
  • You get mail about an unemployment claim that uses your Social Security number, but you’ve never filed for such benefits.
  • As an employer, you’re notified of an unemployment claim for an employee, and the employee says they never filed for benefits.

Need help? Report identity theft.

You can order your credit report from each of the three national credit-reporting companies. These reports are free after you place a fraud alert. You can also get a free credit report at:

Another way to protect yourself is to place a 7-year fraud alert on your credit file through one of the three national credit reporting companies:

  • Trans-Union (800) 680-7289
  • Equifax (800) 525-6285
  • Experian (888) 397-3742

It’s important to stay safe online and protect your information. Always use strong, unique passwords for each online account and consider using a password manager to keep track of them.

Be cautious with unsolicited emails or messages asking for personal information, and double-check the sender’s details. Never click on suspicious links. Keep your computer and antivirus software up to date to defend against malware and phishing attacks.

When shopping online or banking, make sure the website address starts with “https://” to ensure a secure connection. Limit the personal information you share on social media and always log out of accounts when using public computers.

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