Rep. Halbrook: Protect Yourself from Unemployment Fraud

Following an admission by the Pritzker Administration that Illinoisans are being targeted for unemployment related fraud, State Representative Brad Halbrook today warned families and seniors to be vigilant, and to report unsolicited offers of assistance, or benefits not applied for.

“My office has received reports of a wide variety of scams, including those who have applied for benefits being contacted by outside individuals offering to expedite the process if provided personal information, and also seniors and others who have never applied receiving debit cards in the mail. This has been going on for several weeks, and finally, the Governor’s office has acknowledged the problem and responded,” Rep. Halbrook said.

Rep. Halbrook said the Illinois Department of Employment Security has issued the following tips for those who believe they have been targeted for unemployment-related fraud:

▪ Immediately call IDES at 800.814.0513, select option 1 for claimants, then 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.

Rep. Halbrook noted that the Federal Trade Commission’s website also offers tips on how to recognize and respond to identity theft related fraud.

“I hope that acknowledging this serious problem is finally the beginning of the Administration taking responsibility for the systematic failures at IDES during our Coronavirus ordeal, but we need to get to the bottom of how and why these failures happened. We need public hearings where we can question agency officials and take action to ensure this can never happen again in Illinois.” Rep. Halbrook said.