How to Report False Unemployment Claims in Colorado

Scammers have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to file millions of false unemployment insurance (UI) benefit claims using stolen identities. If you're an employer in Colorado and received an unemployment claim for an active employee or someone who never worked for you, immediately submit a fraud report with the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE) instead of appealing or rejecting the claim.
If the unemployment claim is for an active employee, notify them that their identity may have been stolen. The employee should also file an Identity Theft Report with CDLE, as well as take steps to secure their personal information. (We recommend sharing this handout on unemployment benefit scams with all employees so they are aware of what to watch for and how to protect their personal information.)

Submitting a fraud report instead of appealing a claim will stop benefit payments and initiate an investigation. If the claim is determined to be fraud, your state UI premium rate will not be impacted by those benefit payments. According to CDLE, "Payment of any fraudulent benefits will not be charged to your account upon a finding of fraud and will not impact your experience rating when your premium rates are calculated." 

You may ignore subsequent notices about the claim that you receive after filing the fraud report. Per CDLE, "If you received a Fact Finding Questionnaire for someone who has been a victim of Identity Theft, you do not need to respond to that questionnaire (in MyUI Employer or a paper form). Submitting this [identity theft / fraud reporting] form is sufficient to stop payment to the claim." However, CDLE still wants employers to  respond to job separation notices received via SIDES for information on an employee who is currently working. The agency acknowledges that their automated notification system may cause confusion and are working to resolve the issue. Bottomline: if you suspect an unemployment claim is fraudulent, your first step is to file a report with CDLE.

To summarize, here’s what Colorado employers should do (and not do) if they receive a fraudulent UI claim:
  1. DO immediately report the fraudulent claim to CDLE to hold payment while the investigation is pending. DO NOT reject or appeal the claim.
    1. NOTE: If you're registered with SIDES to receive unemployment notices, promptly complete requests on claims that you suspect are fraudulent. However, you may ignore notices for fraudulent claims that you receive in the mail or via MyUI+. Responding to those notices automatically generates more paperwork, which may delay the fraud investigation.
  2. DO alert your employees that their personal information may have been stolen and they should submit an Identity Theft Form to CDLE, as well as take other precautions to secure their data from future fraud attempts.
  3. DO raise your employees' awareness of the uptick in unemployment scams by sharing the CDLE Fraud Prevention website and/or this handout.
  4. DO call Employer Services at (303) 318-9100 with questions related to fraudulent claims. DO NOT call the main UI Call Center to report unemployment fraud.

Colorado Unemployment Fraud Resources

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a self-help tool and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Laws, regulations and lending products are changing daily and decisions as to whether or how to use this information and/or what actions to take are solely those of the employer. The providers of this information disclaim any and all responsibility and liability for its accuracy, completeness or fitness for your particular business purposes.