Austin – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is encouraging Texans to use extreme caution on social media amid a dramatic increase in identity theft. Although no TWC system has been compromised, a record number of identity theft cases shows just how important it is to be vigilant in securing private information.
Private information is exposed like never before. Social networking sites routinely expose full names, addresses, birthdates and other information valuable to scammers. Combined with information stolen from data breaches, cell phone hacking or “phishing” scams that expose social security numbers, they can empower criminals who can impersonate you online.
Over the last few months, multiple fake TWC pages have been set up by scammers in an attempt to use phishing to solicit private information from people applying for unemployment benefits. TWC has warned those on social media that the agency never conducts business on social media, and if anyone claiming to represent the agency contacts you asking for private information, do not respond. Instead, you should only conduct business through TWC’s official unemployment portal or phone number.
Additionally, unsuspecting individuals seeking assistance have shared their own private information on TWC’s legitimate social media channels, often in public posts that can be viewed by anyone. TWC reminds Texans to never give out Social Security numbers, account logins, bank information, payment or even addresses on any social media platform, even in direct messages to TWC.
All Texans should take steps to secure their identity online by practicing Internet security best practices. Treat your TWC account and all accounts like you would your bank account. The Texas Workforce Commission will investigate every unemployment benefit claim to confirm identity and to lock accounts that are fraudulent.
If you think you are the victim of this type of identity theft, you may report it at the TWC fraud and identity theft portal by clicking here.