Sheriff's Office

For Immediate Release

This press release includes attached pdf files
PR #: 2000087
Date Issued: Jul 10, 2020 - 4:38pm

Washoe County Sheriff's Office warns of fraudulent unemployment claims filed with stolen identities

CONTACT: Sarah Johns
911 Parr Blvd
Reno, NV. 89512
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a notable spike in identity theft cases tied to fraudulent unemployment claims.

In the past three weeks, the Office has been made aware of 37 separate 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).

"With Nevada having one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, members of our community are a prime target for fraudsters," said Sheriff Darin Balaam. "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 Washoe County Sheriff's Office is taking identity theft reports online for informational purposes, and to support victims who may need proof of identity theft.

Once you have filed an online report through the Office, you may fill out an application for a Nevada Identity Theft Passport and mail that to the Nevada Attorney General's Office. Applications are attached in English and Spanish below.

The Office of the Attorney General also investigates unemployment fraud. Those whose identity is stolen are also encouraged to file a complaint through the Office of the Attorney General or to call the toll free hotline at (888) 434-9989.

We also encourage those whose identity has been stolen and used to file fraudulent unemployment claims to fill out a Fraud Reporting Form on DETR's website. In the required first and last name fields under the "Suspected Person's" section, a person whose identity is stolen just needs to state "unknown." DETR's fraud unit will investigate the unemployment fraud cases.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.