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Utah Unemployment Fraud

Utah Unemployment Fraud

The Utah Department of Workforce Services is serious about tracking and prosecuting unemployment fraud to the fullest extent. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to be truthful when filing your initial application and weekly claims for Utah Unemployment Insurance benefits.

How to report Utah unemployment insurance fraud

Committing fraud related to unemployment insurance is considered a criminal offense. In order to detect and prosecute fraud, Utah operates a dedicated department that works full-time on identifying unemployment fraud.

If you wish to report an incident of unemployment fraud in Utah, you can fill out the department’s online form at or call 801-526-4400 / option 2.

What constitutes unemployment fraud?

Fraudulent activities are those where you provide false information, make false statements, or withhold information to receive benefits you aren’t eligible to receive.

The leading cause of fraud is typically not reporting all earnings when filing for benefits, or not providing an accurate reason for being unemployed.

A few fraudulent claim examples include:

  • Not accurately reporting your working hours and income.
  • Not being available or ready to work.
  • Failing to actively seek work.
  • Engaging in identity theft.

Penalty for committing UI fraud in Utah

According to Utah State Law, if a claimant or employer knowingly makes a false statement or fails to disclose a significant fact, they are committing UI benefits fraud. Such individuals may face fines, penalties, and/or criminal prosecution. Additionally, they may be disqualified from receiving benefits, be required to repay the fraudulent payment, and may face monetary penalties.

The consequences of committing fraud may include one or more of the following penalties:

  • Repaying at least twice the amount of benefits received
  • Being ineligible to receive benefits for up to 49 weeks
  • Having your wages garnished, taxes intercepted, or liens placed on your property
  • Facing criminal charges under federal and/or state law
  • Being fined by the court and required to complete community service or probation
  • Serving time in jail or prison
  • Having your conviction made public

What happens if I accidentally submit an incorrect claim?

It is your responsibility to provide accurate and complete information. If you submitted a weekly claim that contains mistakes, it is your responsibility to contact the Claims Center to correct the information immediately.

What is an overpayment?

When you receive unemployment compensation that you are not entitled to, it creates what’s known as an “overpayment.” When this happens, you may receive a notice of denial of benefits, accompanied by an overpayment notice that provides repayment and instructions for filing an appeal.

Benefit overpayments include the total weekly benefit amount and any deductions, like child support or taxes, plus applicable penalties.

If this happens, you should immediately contact the Utah Collections Department at 801-526-9235 to repay the amount owed. Failure to do so could result in the improper payment being recovered through wage garnishment, federal and/or state tax refund offsets, or property liens.

Can I get my overpayment waived?

If the Utah Department of Workforce Services determines that you were not at fault for the overpayment and your income falls below the poverty guidelines, you may request a waiver for a not-at-fault overpayment.

What is a PIN and how do I change it?

When you file an initial claim for benefits, you will be asked to create a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN is equivalent to your signature when filing your weekly unemployment claim, and it should only be known to you. Under no circumstances should you allow anyone else to access your PIN or unemployment claim account, as you will be held responsible for any fraudulent or incorrect payments made using your PIN.

If someone knows your PIN, you need to change it immediately either online at or by calling the Claims Center.

Utah Detection Fraud Division

The Utah Department of Workforce Services uses several methods to detect fraud, and is always developing new strategies to identify any claimants who might be receiving unemployment benefits through fraudulent means.

The following information sources are currently used to detect potential fraud:

  • Receiving tips from the public via telephone, mail, or the internet
  • Analyzing state and national new hire data provided by employers
  • Reviewing Utah employer wage files
  • Conducting claimant eligibility reviews and audits
  • Matching data with other government records
  • Conducting in-person and on-site fraud investigations
  • Utilizing interstate agreements

While most of the Department’s detection methods involve sophisticated automation systems, some still require the expertise of skilled fraud investigators.

Utah unemployment claim auditing

Every week, claims are chosen at random for audits. During an audit, fraud detectors verify factors that may impact UI eligibility, such as work search, base period wages, job separation, school attendance, work, and earnings during the weeks filed.

If you are selected for an audit and fail to comply with the requirements, your benefits may be denied.

Unemployment identity fraud

Unemployment identity fraud is becoming increasingly common, and occurs when criminals use someone else’s information to receive unemployment benefits illegally. They may also log into a person’s unemployment account to steal benefit payments, which is called “Claim Hijacking” or “Claim/Account Takeover.”

Here are some indicators that you may be a victim of stolen identity fraud:

  • Receiving mail from a government agency regarding an unemployment claim or payment, even if you didn’t recently file for unemployment benefits.
  • Receiving a 1099-G tax form for unemployment benefits you didn’t expect or receive.
  • Getting a notice from your employer indicating that they received a request for information about an unemployment claim in your name while you are still employed.
  • Finding out that your unemployment payments were sent to another account or address without your authorization.

If you suspect that you are a victim of unemployment identity theft, report the fraud immediately by visiting or calling 801-526-4400 / option 2. The sooner you report the identity theft, the sooner it can be stopped.

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