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Watch out for fraudulent websites, phishing attempts, or scams posing as the unemployment insurance office and report them as soon as possible. Please click on the plus button below to see alerts issued statewide or nationwide about fraudulent attempts to gain claimant information.

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) thanks you for your efforts in combating unemployment fraud and abuse in Iowa. This helps ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are only paid to people who are eligible to receive them. 

For Individuals with UI Accounts

If you are filing for unemployment and have a UI account, there are several ways you can help reduce fraud and protect your information. 

For Employers with UI Accounts

Employers can also take several steps to can help reduce fraud and protect your business from threats.

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Unemployment identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal identifiable information to apply for unemployment insurance benefits. If any of the following situations have occurred, you or someone you know may be a victim of identity theft.

  • A person has been actively claiming and receiving unemployment benefits but their personal identifiable information and/or bank account information has been changed without their knowledge and benefits payments are no longer being received.
  • A person has received information about an unemployment claim with their Social Security Number and that person has never filed for unemployment benefits.
  • You are an employer who received information about an employee’s unemployment claim, but the employee has stated that they never filed for unemployment benefits.

If any of these situations apply, please fill out our online Identity Theft form.

Online ID Theft Form

(Español) Formulario de Informe Web de Robo de ID y Cuenta Secuestrada de IWD 

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The following tips have been provided by law enforcement and other trusted entities and may be useful for the victims of identity theft:

  • Order your credit report from each of the three national credit-reporting companies. These reports are free after you place an initial fraud alert. You can also get a free credit report at:
  • Create an identity theft affidavit online at
  • Place a 7-year fraud alert on your credit file by contacting one of the three national credit reporting companies:
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Fraud is knowingly providing false information, or withholding information, in order to receive UI benefits. Fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits is a serious offense and can lead to severe penalties, including:

  • Criminal prosecution, fines and imprisonment.
  • Denial of future benefits by administrative penalty.
  • Repayment of fraudulently collected unemployment benefits (plus a 15 percent penalty).
  • Wage garnishments and liens.
  • Interception of state and federal tax refunds.

Read more about UI Fraud: 

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If you believe you have come in contact with a fraudulent unemployment benefits website, received a phishing attempt, taken phone calls from someone impersonating the unemployment insurance department, or something similar, please contact Iowa Workforce Development as soon as possible.

It is not necessary to provide your name or any other identifying information to file a complaint about UI fraud. However, if the complaint is anonymous, IWD will be unable to contact you if further information is required.  When filing a complaint, the following information is needed:

  • Name and address of the individual or business suspected of committing fraud.
  • If available, include the social security number and name of the business that the individual has been employed with over the last year.
  • Describe your complaint in detail and provide dates when possible.

A complaint can be submitted online, by mail or fax.


The following links are resources for filing a complaint online:


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


Iowa Workforce Development
Attn: Fraud
Fax: 515-281-9033

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The misclassification of workers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees” is a growing problem in Iowa and across the nation. IWD investigates cases of potential misclassification on an individual basis and will issue a determination on whether the person providing service is an employee or an independent contractor. 

Click the above link for details on what misclassification is and how to report it.

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