The personal information, including social security numbers, of state employees was used to apply for state unemployment claims. That’s according to the Nevada Department of Transportation which notified its employees yesterday of the situation.
“We want to make you aware that your Personal Identifiable Information (PII), including your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number may have been exposed,” the government agency wrote to its employees. “This notification is intended to provide you with information which may assist you in preventing or responding to fraudulent use of your PII.”
The Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation said that its insurance program detected an increase in imposter claims using state employee information, said Don Soderberg, DETR’s director. Other states are experiencing the same problem.
According to NDOT, “Fraudulent unemployment claims have been submitted to the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) under the names of numerous NDOT Employees. DETR informs us that they are working with the appropriate authorities to identify and pursue those involved.”
NDOT advised employees to check credit reports and apply for fraud alerts to credit rating agencies. The agency said it would contact individual employees whose information was used to apply for unemployment claims.
“We take very seriously illegal activity affecting our unemployment insurance program and are deeply concerned about the individuals impacted,” Soderberg said.
DETR spokeswoman Mae Worthy said that their systems were not hacked but she could not comment on how the personal information was fraudulently obtained because of an ongoing investigation.
“We do have a fraud detection unit and we’re always on the lookout for fraudulent activity and so there was a little bit more of that activity than normal,” she said.
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information is received.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.