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Cell phone scams and unauthorized websites

Reports of cell phone scam aimed at phishing information from unemployment applicants

Several states are reporting scams involving voice or text messages sent to unemployment applicants' phones. These messages tell applicants their unemployment account has been de-activated or suspended and to reactivate by calling a phone number that is provided. When the number is called, the applicant is asked to enter or provide confidential account information, including debit card numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN). The scammers are then able to access the debit card account and steal funds.

What you should know:

Unemployment Insurance and U.S. Bank will never randomly call or send you a text message. If you receive a random call/text message about your unemployment or debit card account, you should assume it is fraudulent.

Protect yourself from the growing threat of phone / texting scams:

  • Do not reply to text messages from unknown phone numbers. 
  • Never provide account details or personal information via text message. 
  • Unemployment Insurance and U.S. Bank staff will never ask you for your ReliaCard PIN or account number by email, phone, or text message. 
  • Do not click links sent through text messages - always go to websites directly to verify the company. 
  • Never call a phone number listed in a text message. Search your records for the company's phone number. 
  • Always keep your unemployment debit card safe – do not share your debit card PIN with anyone.

Scam websites

If you search for “Unemployment Insurance” on the internet, you will get thousands of results. Some of these are harmless. They provide some unemployment insurance (UI) information that may or not be accurate, but their primary goal is to get you to click on other links that are inside their website. Other sites are designed to steal your private data by pretending to help you apply for UI benefits.

To help you protect your privacy, avoid unwanted emails, and to receive the most accurate, detailed, timely information we suggest you follow these tips:

  • Use only the official Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) website to find information about the program, apply for benefits, or to access your account.
  • Do not provide personal information to any websites (other than that claims to help you apply for unemployment benefits.
  • Do not provide private information by email. The Minnesota UI program does not request information by email.
  • Use caution when researching unemployment benefits on the internet. There are websites that offer incorrect advice based on personal experience or the laws in other states. This incorrect information could adversely affect your eligibility for benefits if you act upon it.

Check our website or call us if you have questions. We are here to help you.

Protecting yourself

How to protect yourself from common security threats:

  • Never share your account or personal information with anyone. 
  • Never click on any links sent to you from someone you are not familiar with. 
  • Keep your passwords safe. Do not write them down or share with anyone. 
  • Keep track of your online purchases. 
  • Monitor your statements regularly. Report any suspicious or unknown transactions immediately to your financial institution. 
  • Monitor your surroundings when using ATMs - be alert. Be sure to look at ATMs before using them to confirm they are not tampered with.
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