IL unemployment benefits stolen from Palos Park business after thieves claim to work there, police say

Unemployment fraud victims should contact IDES, IRS, more
PALOS PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Palos Park police are warning the public about a recent unemployment scam.

The south suburban police department said thieves tried to collect unemployment benefits from a local business in Palos Park.

Those thieves allegedly claimed they were employees at the business, getting $484 a week.

Police call this a scam and are now investigating the fraud.

RELATED: Calumet City woman without unemployment benefits after stranger allegedly files in her name
EMBED More News Videos

A Calumet City woman who recently lost her job says she can't file for unemployment because a stranger has already filed in her name on the IDES website.



These scammers are not only causing problems for the businesses they claim to work for but also are potentially costing taxpayers millions of dollars, authorities said.

Business owners or residents who receive an unemployment letter they know nothing about, or information on employees they do not have, should contact the local police department and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

IDES said fraud victims are encouraged to contact the department at 800-814-0513. You should also report unemployment fraud to the IRS to avoid having to pay money on fraudulent funds at irs.gov.

The Illinois Attorney General would also like to hear from unemployment fraud victims at illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.
Fraud victims are encouraged to check their credit report history and possibly put a freeze on their credit, as well as file an identity theft report at identitytheft.gov.

RELATED: Unpaid, delayed unemployment benefits leave many without financial support
EMBED More News Videos

Unpaid or delayed unemployment benefit payments leave many without financial support six months after Illinois' stay-at-home order took effect.



Contact Samantha Chatman and the ABC 7 I-Team at abc7chicago.com.

Full statement from the Illinois Department of Employment Security:

"If a claimant experiences this type of fraud, we encourage them to call and report it to IDES at 800.814.0513; their call will be returned in the order it was received. Additionally, a claimant should take steps to better secure their password and security questions they've selected and answered as part of the password reset process. It's important to use complex passwords and answers to these questions so that it is much harder for their account to be logged into, and have their information changed, by anyone other than the claimant.

"If a claimant believes they have experienced this type of fraud, the IDES fraud division will conduct an investigation and payment tracer to determine if benefit payment was sent out or not. If the investigation leads to the conclusion that a person's account information has been changed and payment was diverted elsewhere, payment will be reissued to the affected claimant. However, it is important to note and understand that these investigations can take quite some time to complete due to the need to subpoena banking information from financial institutions."
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.