IDES Reporting Unemployment Benefit Fraud

By Benjamin Cox on July 22, 2020 at 10:48am

People around the state are reporting that they are receiving unemployment debit cards when they never signed up for unemployment. ABC7 Chicago and the State Journal Register are reporting that several people around the state have been receiving KeyBank debit cards in the mail. KeyBank is the company that administers debit cards for people who do not have a direct deposit bank account who sign up for unemployment benefits with the state.

When a person applies for unemployment, they are sent a KeyBank debit card in an inactivated state. It is up to the recipient to call KeyBank and have the card activated and set up a PIN number. It’s only then that the card would be ready to use. IDES Spokesperson Sam Salustro says that people who do sign up for unemployment are encouraged to use direct deposit to their bank accounts.

Salustro told the SJ-R that if someone gets a card or other unemployment benefit notices when they didn’t apply, they should immediately report it as fraud to local law enforcement. Salustro says people should not activate the cards, but neither should they simply shred them and ignore what happened. He also says that mostly commonly when a person is committing unemployment benefit fraud in someone else’s name, they use their name and other identity information through various methods simply to receive the funds. Salustro says once the claims are reported as fraud, the claim is stopped and the individual is pursued with federal authorities.

Senator Andy Manar and Springfield State Representatives Mike Murphy and Tim Butler told the SJ-R that they have received over a dozen reports from constituents about this type of fraud happening in their districts. If you believe you have been a victim of this type of fraud, you can contact IDES’ fraud hotline at 1-800-814-0513 to report it. You should also contact your local bank and watch your credit reports to keep an eye out for suspicious financial activity, up to and including identify theft and fraudulent purchases.