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Sheriff provides direction for victims of identity theft tied to unemployment claims


The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has alerted residents about spikes in identity theft cases tied to fraudulent unemployment claims.

In the past few weeks, the sheriff’s office has been made aware of dozens of instances where a person’s social security number has been used to file for unemployment benefits through the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. DETR’s fraud unit investigates unemployment fraud cases and those who’ve been a victim are asked to complete and submit paperwork.

“With Nevada having one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, members of our community are a prime target for fraudsters,” Sheriff Darin Balaam said in a statement. “Organized groups are known to steal identities of legitimate, hard working Nevadans and apply for benefits that appear valid. Scamming the unemployment system is a felony.”

The sheriff’s office is taking identity theft reports online for informational purposes, and to support victims who may need proof of identity theft.

Once a sheriff’s report has been filled out, an application for a Nevada Identity Theft Passport can also be filled out in English or Spanish and sent to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.

The Nevada Attorney General also investigates unemployment fraud. Nevadans whose identity is stolen can also file a complaint or call (888) 434-9989.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.