IL unemployment IDES debit cards: Fraudsters may have used direct deposit to carry out scheme

Samantha Chatman Image
Friday, July 31, 2020
IL unemployment fraudsters may have used direct deposit to carry out IDES debit card scheme
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We're learning more about unemployment fraud and how thieves are stealing money from the state.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Scammers who are stealing unemployment benefits from IDES may be using direct deposit to carry out their scheme.

IDES the I-Team that in many cases, the thieves will apply for unemployment using someone else's name and personal information. They will then have the method of payment switched to direct deposit, which means the money is going straight to the thieves' bank account.

So once a fraud victim receives an IDES debit card in the mail, it may be unusable because there's no more money on it.

However, if there is money on the card and a fraud victim ends up spending that money, IDES says that person would be responsible for repaying that money to the state because they are fraudulent funds.

IDES warns that unemployment fraud comes with negative consequences, and that they will pursue fraudsters with criminal or civil suits if necessary.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker warns of massive unemployment debit card fraud scheme

So if you are still unsure what to do if you received an unemployment debit card that you never applied for, you are asked to contact IDES at 800-814-0513, the police and the Illinois Attorney General's Office at 1-866-999-5630.

More information is available on the office's website and the Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630.

IDES statement:

A KeyBank debit card is sent inactivated. Once the card is received in the mail, the person who received it would need to call KeyBank to activate the card and set up a PIN number. Only then would the card be ready for use, if the funds are available to the account. If a person who has not applied for unemployment, but received a debit card in the mail, called KeyBank to activate the card, and then used any funds available to the card, that person would be responsible for repaying the money that was spent. In many fraud cases, the method of payment is switched to direct deposit once the claim has been filed, rendering the debit card unusable.

Unemployment fraud comes with negative consequences required by law, including serving penalty weeks for those who would defraud the unemployment system. While the Department continues to help those who need assistance with their unemployment claims and benefits, we always monitor fraudulent claims to detect, stop, and collect overpayments from fraudsters, and pursue them with criminal and civil suits if necessary.