The Will County Sheriff’s Office has received several reports of unemployment benefit fraud and identity thefts occurring throughout the county. Citizens who have not filed for unemployment benefits are receiving fraudulent Illinois Department of Employment Security pre-paid debit cards in the mail with instructions to activate. The Sheriff’s department is urging you to file a police report by calling the non-emergency number or filling an online report at http://www.willcosheriff.com/report/ if you have received this card, due to the potential of your personal information being compromised. Sheriff’s police investigators are working with IDES investigators regarding these incidents.
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. An individual’s personal identifying information is being used by fraudsters to file an unemployment claim is likely due to a prior cyber hack or data breach, such as the Equifax breach. 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:
Select the English or Spanish language option
Selection option 1 for claimants
Selection option 5 to report identity theft
You’re reminded to not activate the card that has been issued to you and to have your credit report checked for possible suspicious activity and post a fraud alert.