By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker has covered all kinds of consumer scams over the years, but now she has become a victim of fraud.

Tucker says she was surprised but not shocked when she got a call from the human resources manager at CBS 2 Chicago the day after the election to alert her to the fraud. Someone had filed for unemployment in her name. An email from HR provided the unemployment claim received from Equifax.

Like other fraud victims, the first call is to the state’s unemployment department, but one of the numbers on the website is wrong.

Tucker got a response saying, “The number you called is disconnected.”

“They don’t even say goodbye,” she said.

Another number works, but it is a robot that basically says, “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.”

While Tucker waits for that callback, she is taking important steps to protect herself because she is a victim of identity theft. She filled out the fraud report with the Illinois Department of Employment Services and the federal website identitytheft.gov. Alerting as many authorities as possible is a good idea. The website also has a checklist of other important steps to take, including calling the credit bureaus.

TransUnion is one of three credit bureaus, along with Equifax and Experian. You can go online or call. When calling Tucker got a fake human who could not understand her. But it is important to freeze your credit or put an alert on your file, so no one can open accounts in your name.

Finally, she went to the police department to formally file a report. Detectives will probably not work on her case, but having a paper trail of the crime is important.

Tucker has not received a letter from IDES and did not get a debit card, so she has no idea if the scammers got any money. What she does know is that they have her personal information. That is scary, which is why she took so many steps to protect her credit.

We’ve heard of people who were fraud victims getting letters from iDES asking them to repay the money. That’s why the paperwork is important–proof. It’s proof that Tucker filed a police report and filed a fraud report with the FTC and IDES indicating she was a victim of fraud. If she gets a letter saying she has to repay the state, she will send all this IDES to prove she does not owe the money.

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Dorothy Tucker