FOLLOW-UP : MTA Employees Victimized by Identity Theft

May 4, 2021

UTLO’s April 29th letter to MTA Chairman Foye was successful in getting the MTA to admit to its workers that there has been a data breach and to provide appropriate resources. See the response which was sent to all MTA employees:


As we reported earlier this year, Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies continue to investigate an uptick in fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims being filed across the country. These claims stem from the surge of UI claims being filed during the COVID-19 pandemic and related external cyber-attacks in recent years, where criminals are using a victim’s social security number and other information to file fraudulent claims. These identity thefts have been perpetrated against employees of private companies and public agencies nationwide.

This is a serious concern for us at the MTA, as we continue to see reports that several fraudulent claims have been filed by criminals using employees’ identities. MTA Human Resources and IT Cyber Security teams are working with employees who might be impacted or had a fraudulent UI claim opened in their name. If you receive a phone call, email, or letter requesting verification of an unemployment insurance claim that you did not file, or if you receive benefits you never applied for, here’s what you need to do:

  • If you receive an UI claim notice from the Department of Labor (DOL), that you did not file, do not disregard it. It is critical that you contact your agency’s HR representative immediately, so they can take appropriate steps to invalidate the claim. A list of HR agency representatives is provided below.
  • If the MTA receives a notice of an UI claim filed in your name, you will be contacted by your respective HR representative listed below and/or by your division management with instructions on the steps you must take regarding the fraudulent claim. Please respond to only these individuals.
  • The MTA HR representative will not ask you for a social security number. Never respond to anyone with a social security number via email.  

We must remain vigilant to identity theft. New York State and the Department of Labor advises to:

  • Make sure to always protect your personal and work information, including your name, social security number, date of birth, and email addresses, by continuing to remain alert.
  • Report fraud to your state unemployment benefits agency such as the New York State Department of Labor - online at or via the 24-hour Hotline, 888-598-2077.
  • Review your credit card, bank accounts, and credit reports carefully - immediately after being alerted to fraudulent activity and on a regular basis. Please see the attached New York State Cyber Intelligence Bulletin for more information and credit agency contacts.
  • Never respond to calls, emails, letters or text messages telling you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards, or email your social security information or other personal information. No state agency will ever direct you to repay money via wire transfer, gift cards or to send cash.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Human Resources contact for your agency.

Stay safe,

Pat Warren

MTA Chief Safety and Security Officer

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