Fraud Penetrating All State Unemployment Systems, IDES Taking Steps

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

IDES has uncovered and is investigating a widespread fraud scheme that is being conducted nationwide, impacting each state’s federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs, implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  PUA provides 100 percent federally funded unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of individuals who were not traditionally covered by a state’s regular unemployment insurance program, including self-employed and sole proprietors.  Under this program, 39 weeks’ worth of benefits are available to PUA claimants whose claims can be backdated as earlier as February 2, 2020, with benefits ending December 26, 2020. An individual who has not filed an unemployment claim but has received a debit card or an unemployment insurance (UI) finding letter in the mail has most likely been the target of fraud. It is imperative that individuals take the following steps if they have not filed an unemployment claim and have erroneously received an unemployment debit card or UI finding letter in the mail:

•  Immediately call IDES at 800.814.0513 and when prompted:

o Select the English or Spanish language option
o Selection option 1 for claimants
o Selection option 5 to report identity theft

•  Do not activate the debit card that was mailed to you.

•  Have your credit report checked for possible suspicious activity and post a fraud alert.

•  Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website to learn helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

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