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Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

As you may have been hearing on the news, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has identified an increase in fraudulent unemployment claims in recent months. These claims seem to be related to the increase in benefits available due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These false claims are rampant not just in Illinois, but across the country.

When IDES receives an unemployment benefit application for a person employed or previously employed by Highland Community College IDES notifies HCC Human Resources, via a secure portal. Human Resources researches the employment status of the employee and updates IDES with the findings, along with other requested information. Recently, we received several unemployment claims for employees who are currently employed. These employees are actively employed and did not initiate any process with IDES. These are considered fraudulent claims. Human Resources has notified these employees and provided information on applicable protocol.

At this time, there is no evidence that the unemployment claims filed for our HCC employees is in any way related to a breach of information, data, or security at, or with, Highland.

You may be a victim of unemployment fraud if you have not filed an unemployment claim, but you have received a debit card or an unemployment insurance (UI) finding letter. It is important that you take immediate action. Steps and resources can be found at

In addition to the steps listed in the IDES website, please alert HCC Human Resources and your local police department.

If you would like more information, below is a link to a video from the Illinois Department of Employment Security on Unemployment Fraud and Identity Theft. Information on how to protect your identity starts at approximately the 10 minute mark on the video.

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources.

IDES Unemployment Fraud and Identity Theft Video