LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission has put a stop on about 64,000 fraudulent unemployment claims.
Our own 7 news Anchor Makenzie Burk is one of the many Oklahomans who received that letter showing that someone else had filed for unemployment using her name.
She found out what the process is like to report the fraudulent claim.
Until recently, to report a fraud claim to the OESC, you had to email them your confidential information.
But just this week the OESC announced a new streamlined process for reporting fraudulent unemployment claims.
It’ll ask you for information like your name, address, social security number and phone number.
Then you check a few boxes, and submit.
“At that point, what we do is put a stop on the claim,” said Shelley Zumwalt, Interim Executive President of OESC. “And it says no money, no activity can happen under this profile.”
Zumwalt says reporting the claim as fraud is very important, so that the claim doesn’t pay out. However, some people, including myself may have already gotten a debit card in the mail.
“If you get a card in the mail, immediately cut it up,” said Zumwalt. “Do not use it. If it’s not your card, and not tied to your benefits..I’m not saying that from a judgy point of view, I’m saying that from a we will come back and get that money from you, point of view.”
For those who did get a debit card in the mail, it’s that much more necessary to report it to make sure you won’t get taxed for it.
“If you’re an individual that’s had a fraudulent claim filed under your name, report it as fraud,” said Zumwalt. “Because that should not count towards your taxable wages.”
Once you’ve gotten your report filed with the OESC, Detective Tonya Criger with the Lawton Police Department has some advice.
“A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to access someone’s information,” said Criger. “They need to make sure that they check their credit reports. And make sure that there is not any new loans, any new accounts in their name that they weren’t aware of.”
Zumwalt suggests getting credit monitoring if possible.