Tens of thousands of Ohioans — including OAPSE members and staff — have been impacted by a new scheme to defraud the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and the unemployment benefit system. This is serious, but there are steps you can take to protect your credit and stop the thieves from getting benefits.
I asked OAPSE General Counsel Robert Walter to put together recommendations for what to do if you are impacted by the unemployment fraud. See his thoughts below. Please share widely with coworkers, friends and family.
News agencies have reported that fraudulent claims for unemployment are being filed at an alarming rate. It is so widespread that fraudulent claims are reported to have been filed in the names of the Governor and his wife and the Lieutenant Governor.
Below are links to an article in the Columbus Dispatch and stories on WKYC.
Members need to be aware that their identities can be stolen. For example, a member may receive a form indicating that he or she filed for unemployment when the member did not. That form may contain the member’s social security number or a temporary PIN to access the claim. A member may receive a 1099-G tax form stating that the member received unemployment when the member did not.
Separate from reporting identity theft to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, members can check their own credit report to see if fraudulent activity exists.