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Old 05-19-2020, 08:44 AM
Johnny L.A. is offline
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Unemployment fraud


Yesterday I received a letter from the Employment Security Department ('unemployment office') with information about my claim. Since I never made a claim, I went to the ESD website and filed a fraud report.

Don't you need a Social Security number to file for unemployment? How would mine have been compromised? I don't enter it online -- except for when I had to to check on my coronavirus stimulus check.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:06 AM
wolfman is offline
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Having spent a life working in databases, I have realized that there simply isn't any security in SSNs. They are thrown around as IDs in so many places, largely carelessly, even in supposedly high security environments. They just are not something you can rely on being secure in anyway.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:02 AM
racer72 is offline
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I had the same thing happen to me, only I was signing up for unemployment. Went online to open an account but there was already one with my name. The issue was cleared up in a few days. The person from Employment Security I talked to thinks someone got my info from one of the security breaches that occurred recently. Fortunately whoever signed me up for the account had not made any claims. My claim, which turned out to be a total of 8 days, went off without a hitch.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:40 AM
Carryon is offline
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Have you ever applied for a job and written your SS# on the application, then NOT received the job?

If so, a lot of times, you've turned all that info to an H/R clerk making a dollar more than minimum wage, who can harvest this and all the other applicants's who aren't hired, information.

H/R doesn't need your SS# until they have indicated they are serious about your candidacy and will start background checks.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:49 AM
Do Not Taunt is offline
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Here's an NYT article about the ongoing UI fraud. As a fellow Washingtonian, you should probably follow the steps here.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:04 AM
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They don't even really need to compromise your SS#. There are a billion possible SS#s and a third of a billion Americans, so if a fraudster puts in a random number he's got a 1 in 3 chance of getting someone's valid number. And with a little knowledge of how these things are generated, he could get a number that is almost certainly valid. Maybe OP's number was just a random one that was picked (or entered by accident through a transcription error).
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leahcim View Post
They don't even really need to compromise your SS#. There are a billion possible SS#s and a third of a billion Americans, so if a fraudster puts in a random number he's got a 1 in 3 chance of getting someone's valid number. And with a little knowledge of how these things are generated, he could get a number that is almost certainly valid. Maybe OP's number was just a random one that was picked (or entered by accident through a transcription error).
I don't know about USA, but the Canadian SIN (Social Insurance Number) contains a check digit. Add the odd digits and twice the evens (or is the other way around?) and the last digit is remainder divided by 10. This gives you 1 in 10 chance of getting a real number unless you know the trick, and also catches many errors which typically are transposed numbers. But - one tenth the choices, which is less important with 34 million people than 340 million.

(Same as Postal codes - we let the USA lead the way, then looked and said - "we can do the same only better" now that we see the glitches you face)
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:03 PM
Siam Sam is online now
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I can remember when we often put our SS numbers on our checks. Sometimes it was the number on our student IDs or even driver's licenses. Really, how did we ever survive that?
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Last edited by Siam Sam; 05-21-2020 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I can remember when we often put our SS numbers on our checks. Sometimes it was the number on our student IDs or even driver's licenses. Really, how did we ever survive that?
When I TAed in the mid-70s we posted grades (on paper) using SSNs instead of names to ensure privacy. Back then it didn't matter much.
Plus, in college, I got a Social Security number for our hall lounge, no problem. We were going to see if we could get the lounge into MIT but it never went any further than that.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:44 PM
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A place I worked until the early 2000s still used SSNs as employee IDs.

So when you filled out a purchase order, the carbon copy that got sent to the vendor had your SSN on it. When you shipped a box, the shipping form had your SSN. When you had a car rental direct billed to the company (before the company got travel credit cards), you gave your SSN to the clerk at the car rental counter.

I remember once when we were moving buildings, there was furniture, equipment, and boxes stacked in the hallways of a three-story building. Each piece had a moving requisition form with the SSN of the building facilities manager on it.

I started blacking out my SSN on the carbon copy of the form that got put in the box by the shipping department (not the copy the shipping department or the finance department got) and I heard them saying behind my back that I was some sort of kook. They eventually complained up management channels and my management told me to cut it out.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:30 AM
Mama Zappa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
A place I worked until the early 2000s still used SSNs as employee IDs....

I started blacking out my SSN on the carbon copy of the form that got put in the box by the shipping department (not the copy the shipping department or the finance department got) and I heard them saying behind my back that I was some sort of kook. They eventually complained up management channels and my management told me to cut it out.
So instead of covering it over with ink, they wanted you to take *scissors* to the forms?

In college - which I admit was more than a decade ago - our student IDs had our SSNs on them. The cards were hard plastic with holes punched in them - like punch cards. I never tried holding up one to an actual punch card (which I used regularly - that's how long ago it was) to see if the code was more than just the SSN but I'd bet if it was, it included our name etc. Not sure why it was punched; to the best of my knowledge we never had to present the cards in such a way that they would have been read by anything that could detect the holes.
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