CHICAGO (WLS) -- Massive unemployment fraud is plaguing states nationwide, including Illinois, but victims trying to report the problem online are facing a new hurdle.
There have been more than 212,000 fraud claims filed since March in Illinois. One option for victims to report was online, but the I-Team found that link had disappeared on the state's website.
Victims want to report problems to the Illinois Department of Employment Security site as soon as they can because they're worried they could be on the hook for that money, or they won't be able to get unemployment if they need it.
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Fraud can still be reported by leaving a phone message and waiting for a callback, but now that online option is gone.
"On their website, I was just shocked that there was no place to report so I started searching thinking maybe I'm just missing it," said Alan Boushard, who contacted the I-Team. "There was no option, you have to call the number. And not only do you have to call the number that's listed, but you have to go through this phone tree that's just ridiculous. I'm not even sure I reported it to the right place because it's so convoluted."
IDES told the I-Team the link is gone because they're "working to develop a new web-based reporting tool" for identity theft-related fraud, streamlining the process for investigators. They say it will "be live in the coming days." Until then, victims must report fraud by phone by calling (800) 814-0513.
Illinois unemployment fraud reporting link on IDES website disappears
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