State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer is warning against identity theft and unemployment fraud.
Davidsmeyer says his office has been inundated in recent months with calls from constituents who have received fraudulent documents in the mail who have not filed for unemployment benefits with the state.
Davidsmeyer says as fraud historically rises during the holidays, the public needs to be aware that scammers posing as the Illinois Department of Employment Security are continuing to pose a threat of identity theft.
“The State of Illinois has received almost a quarter of a million fraud calls for IDES. I’ve received a number of calls, including a several from friends who would have no business filing for unemployment at a time like this. So especially as we approach the holidays and things of that sort we want to make sure people understand that it is not just your credit cards you need to watch for fraud, there’s also a booming unemployment system that is being taken advantage of as well.”
Davidsmeyer says there are two main components to the fraud the public needs to watch out for.
“These bad actors are requesting a bank card, and I believe they are coming from Key Bank, so if you receive one of those in the mail- do not activate it. Because if you activate it you are accepting those funds so do not activate those cards. The other thing is, people are receiving letters saying you applied for this from the Illinois Department of Employment Security that says they applied for unemployment.
If you have not applied for unemployment, make sure you call IDES, and they are swamped so make sure you leave a message. Call the Illinois Attorney General and feel free to call my office at 217-243-6221 and we will try to do everything we can to help you through the process.”
Davidsmeyer says you should also contact your local police or sheriff’s department and file a police report, and to request a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com and examine your credit history for any suspicious activity.
Davidsmeyer wants to assure his constituents that it is not your fault if you are a victim, however he says you need to be prompt in filing a report and checking your credit history.
To report fraudulent unemployment activity contact IDES at (800) 814-0513. To contact the Illinois Attorney General, dial 1-866-999-5630. TTY service for the Attorney General is also available by dialing 1-877-844-5461 (TTY)