More Illinois residents receiving unemployment benefits from different states despite not applying for them

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More people in the Chicago area have reported that they received unemployment benefits from other states.

Meanwhile, some people have reported that they actually applied for unemployment benefits and haven't gotten them yet.

One woman wrote in saying: "I have received two forms in the mail from Kansas Department of Labor indicating that I have applied for unemployment assistance and benefits. I have not applied for any benefits, nor have I ever been employed in Kansas...Please help!"

According to their website, the Kansas Department of Labor says the state is seeing an increase in reports of unemployment fraud claims due to identify theft.

They say fraudulent claims are being filed using the names and personal information of people who have not lost their jobs.

People are often unaware a claim has been made on their behalf until they receive a determination notice in the mail from KDOL or until their employer receives a notice to verify the employee's status.

If you received unemployment benefits that you did not apply for...you are urged to contact the state...monitor your credit...and file an identity theft report.

Information from the Kansas Department of Labor:

A fraudulent claim that is created using you or your employee's personal information, including Social Security Number and date of birth, indicates that personal information is exposed and there is risk of further financial harm. In such cases, we recommend the following steps:

Notify all three major credit reporting bureaus and request a "fraud alert" on your credit report:
Equifax
Consumer Fraud Division
800-525-6285

P.O. Box. 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
www.equifax.com

TransUnion
Fraud Victim Assistance Dept.
800-680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
www.transunion.com

Experian

National Consumer Assist
888-397-3742
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
www.experian.com

Contact your banks and credit card companies. Follow their advice as to whether you should close your account.

Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-269-0271. Order a copy of your Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) in order to check the accuracy of your work history on file with the SSA.

Notify the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) fraud hotline at 1-800-908-4490. Request a copy of your Wage and Income Transcript from the IRS. You will need to report and dispute any fraudulent earnings listed on the Wage and Income Transcript. You can go to http://www.irs.gov/privacy/article/0,,id=186436,00.html for additional IRS information. Call 1-877-487-2778, between 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Eastern time.

Go to www.ftc.gov to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.

Unemployment fraud is a felony. It is the willful misrepresentation of information to collect unemployment benefits. Each year, employers pay unemployment taxes which are deposited into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Unemployment benefits are paid out from this fund to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own. Employers' tax rates are affected when workers make claims against their account and the balance of the Trust Fund. KDOL wants to ensure unemployment benefits are not being diverted from the Trust Fund to those who are not eligible. Kansas law provides penalties to claimants and employers who commit fraud.
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