I'm a victim of fraud! Year-end 2020 journal

I just got a letter from my State Unemployment office saying that an unemployment claim has been filed in my name. I thought I’d document my journey in this space, but also use this thread for others to get useful info (an possibly some mild mocking :nerd_face:) on any form of fraud.

Note that I’m not looking for advice directly (my employer has some good resources), but welcome other comments.

Almost 2 years ago now I started getting mail from a cell phone provider that I’ve never done business with. I assumed it was junk mail and threw it away without opening it. Then I got a letter from a bill collector. I told them the charge wasn’t mine. They told me to file a police report and contact the company directly. I did both, and did not have to pay anything. Someone had purchased a phone using my SSN on the opposite side of the country.

Now my credit is frozen, which theoretically would have prevented all of this.

Our house has received two different unemployment debit cards for people who don’t live here. It was ridiculously difficult to report to the unemployment office, because their website only has pre-defined drop downs, without a way to say other, and then list the issue. I sat on hold for 30 minutes to report the first one, and haven’t yet reported the second because omg I don’t want to go through that again.

I had a UE claim filed on my earnings as well. Got the letter Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Fraud line had a “high volume call back later” message all day Monday (I called 20 times), Tuesday (8 times), Wednesday (8 times). Online claim registration wanted every piece of personal data about me imaginable. I sure as heck wasn’t filling that out. I mailed in a letter, and told my company too.

I recently froze all of my credit on all four bureaus when an agency of my state had their data hacked.

It’ll be a pain when I next apply for a loan because I’ll have forgotten that I froze my credit.

p.s. tracking & :popcorn:

Four? I only know of 3: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.

Just save your pins for each of them. I’ve had to temporarily unfreeze my credit multiple times. You don’t always need the pins, but I think it helps.

Why not just mail the card back with a short note? A stamp is cheaper than a half hour of your life.

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I know, right?

I may not have frozen anything with them…just got the report on what they have on me. (It will be usps-mailed to you. They don’t deliver it electronically.)

Better yet, destroy the card and notify the agency of the action. Putting it back in the mail still runs the risk of being intercepted somewhere (including at the agency) and being used.

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Good point.

Or maybe mail back the destroyed card so that they know that you really did get one.

The shredder at home is busted and I haven’t bought a new one (I have a box of to be shredded), so that’s another task that has just fallen to the wayside with covid

I had my UE benefits downloaded to a debit card. After I used it (probably at a gas pump) the number was skimmed and someone had a spending spree with the entire balance. Key Bank was nice enough to reverse the charges, thankfully, also glad that my main bank is good about fraud detection and called me right away when they noticed some unusual activity.

Just cut it up into about 6 pieces with regular old scissors. Maybe only mail back 5 of the pieces.

Is there a metallic strip? Can data be recovered from 1/6th of the metallic strip? I don’t know how those work. Maybe run a magnet over it several times to screw up the magnetization.

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Not sure that mailing anything back is really required. That is, do you mail back a debit card from a legitimate claim once your benefits are terminated? (I’m assuming the answer is no, but haven’t experienced a UE claim using a debit card.)

The Agency is going to track things to what was actually spent from that account. Destroy the card w/o activation and nothing from the account can be accessed. The Agency still has all of their money (which is what they’re most concerned about) and can repurpose it to another account.

The purpose in mailing it back would just be to get their attention… prove that you are not some TFH wackadoo making bizarre unsubstantiated claims about fraud.

You should be able to get 5/6 of a debit card and a single sheet of paper in an envelope and have it be under and ounce for regular postage.

I’m not sure how a claim of “the State is sending me a check for $xxx is fraudulent” by the recipient of that $$$ is either bizarre or unsubstantiated.

Why should I try to get the State’s attention to tell them that I didn’t spend their money when they can just look at the account and see the fact.

To make it easier for them to cut down on fraud and save taxpayer money.

Good luck on that front in Illinois.

But for this situation, how is my getting their attention help them cut down on a fraud situation that is already pervasive and well-known by the Agency that my original filing of fraud should already do?

If you’re lucky, you’ll get the attention of some bureaucrat who will look at it for more than 10 seconds before throwing it in the rubbish bin

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