Fraudulent employment insurance claims

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Fraudulent employment insurance claims


Amanda Bailey




May 2, 2020

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In these challenging times of COVID-19, we want to provide you with information that protects you and your safety. The University has been made aware that a small number of invalid claims for unemployment insurance have been made on behalf of Brown University employees. It is important that you read this email and remain vigilant to ensure that any false claims that might be submitted on your behalf are identified.

Unfortunately, invalid unemployment claims appear to be a widespread issue across Rhode Island and other states during the pandemic. As a result, a combined task force has been created with the Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT) to investigate. After an immediate and comprehensive review of all Brown data information systems, Brown’s Computing and Information Services (CIS) has confirmed that the University’s data and information systems have not been compromised.

Employees who apply for unemployment compensation typically submit applications directly to RI DLT, and DLT then informs University Human Resources of the compensation request, working with UHR to verify employment information before UHR returns the completed claim to DLT. In the case of invalid claims, UHR is receiving requests from RI DLT to verify employment for employees who have not filed applications. In other cases, Brown employees have informed UHR that they have received a request appearing to come directly from DLT to complete the process to verify employment information to receive unemployment compensation. This is not a legitimate process.

For legitimate claims, RI DLT directly contacts the employer, which would be Brown University Human Resources. Employees have received these invalid requests both electronically and via US postal service, and University Human Resources also has received these invalid requests directly. As soon as an invalid claim has been submitted to University Human Resources, UHR has contacted each employee to inform them that a claim has been submitted to be processed.

As mentioned above, the combined law enforcement and RI DLT task force is investigating this matter. UHR is following the RI DLT’s Fraudulent Claim Unit’s process to submit, on behalf of employees, each invalid unemployment insurance claim that is received. If a fraud claim has been filed on your behalf by Brown, you will hear from a fraud investigator at the DLT so that they can gather information necessary to determine who is filing the invalid claims. DLT has specifically advised Brown that once notified, no unemployment payments will be issued, and an employee's ability to apply for future compensation, if needed, will not be impacted.

You are encouraged to remain vigilant and check both personal and Brown emails and U.S. mail for any communications from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. Do not disregard these communications. If you receive a request to complete a claim for unemployment compensation, and you have not requested unemployment insurance compensation, please inform University Human Resources as soon as possible by emailing Please include in your email any documents that you have received electronically or in hard copy. You will be asked to share the documents that you received. If UHR has received a claim to authorize unemployment compensation on your behalf, you will be contacted to confirm whether you filed the application. If you have not filed an application, UHR will immediately notify RI DLT.

This matter is being investigated as quickly as possible to reach a solution, and CIS continues to ensure that there is no compromise to Brown’s data and information systems. Brown remains in close contact with RI DLT to be informed immediately when a solution has been reached. In the interim, University Human Resources continues to closely monitor and assess every claim daily.


Amanda Bailey
Vice President of Human Resources


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