2009-12-24 / Community News

TWC Alerts Unemployment Claimants of Text Message Scam

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) advises unemployment claimants that the agency does not use text messages to provide or gather information about unemployment benefits. Some Texas unemployment claimants report receiving fraudulent text messages that claim to originate from TWC requesting confidential information or advising them to call a special phone number to reactivate benefits. A similar scam has been reported in Ohio.

TWC representatives do not use text messages to contact claimants, do not make home visits and do not ask for Personal Identification Numbers (PIN). Although these fraudulent text message incidences appear to be isolated, the situation merits a warning to protect all Texas benefit claimants.

Claimants should only provide Social Security numbers or other confidential information when filing for benefits online at www.texasworkforce.org or when speaking to an unemployment benefit customer service representative on the Tele-Center phone filing system.

Claimants are advised not to respond to any text messages claiming to come from TWC, the U.S. Department of Labor, or any other agency regarding unemployment benefits.

TWC also warns unemployment benefit claimants to be aware of unscrupulous business operators who may try to charge a fee to file unemployment claims. Filing for benefits through TWC always has been free.

The unemployment benefit program, funded through employer taxes, provides temporary, partial income replacement to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. TWC administers and oversees the collection of taxes from employers and the payment of unemployment benefits to qualified claimants.

Any claimants who receive suspicious calls or text messages should contact the TWC Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline at (800) 252-3642.

The TWC is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556.

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