JUSTICE, Ill. (CBS) — A retired man was the victim of unemployment fraud not once, but twice. When he first reached out to CBS 2 for help, we told him to freeze his credit. He did, but he still got another fraudulently filed credit card.
CBS 2 is Working for Chicago, uncovering more fraud in the state’s unemployment system.
David Keating first spoke with CBS 2 last July. Keating, a retiree from Justice, received an Illinois Department of Employment Security debit card for which he did not apply.
“I was shocked because I haven’t worked in 13 years,” he said then. “I just started collecting social security when I was 62. I would think the government would know that.”
Then on Dec. 26 he received a UI finding letter, explaining the benefits of that card.
“It says where I worked last, which is wrong,” Keating said. “It’s got weekly benefit amount and dependent allowance, and they’re all zeros.”
Two days later on Dec. 28, he received another IDES debit card. Then Keating got a determination letter in the mail from IDES, confirming the first debit card he received for unemployment benefits was filed fraudulently.
An IDES spokesperson said they have been able to stop about 350,000 fraudulent claims since March.
“If there’s that much fraud, somebody’s getting the money who doesn’t need it, you know, illegally. It’s a shame,” Keating said.
He says he called IDES both times he received the debit cards and filed a fraud claim online.
“I’m afraid that somehow somebody’s going to get the money and they’re going to come after me for it,” he said.
While it took Keating five months to get a response from his fraud claim, you should report fraud online or via the callback queue. IDES Director Kristin Richards said publicly during last month’s Employment Security Advisory Board meeting that no one will be held responsible for any fraudulent claims made in their names.
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