Many Illinois residents who lost their job due to COVID are also looking for missing unemployment checks. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Governor J.B. Pritzer have alerted citizens that there are two types of COVID unemployment benefit fraud and identity theft being perpetrated against Illinois residents:
1. People who received a debit card from the Illinois Department of Employment Security without applying for unemployment benefits.
2. Individuals who have filed for unemployment benefits, but their auto-deposit is being diverted to another bank account that they aren’t linked to.
If you are a victim of either unemployment fraud or identity theft, you should either contact IDES by phone at (800) 814-0513 OR use their Contact Form to promptly report it. NOTE: Using both methods of reporting may cause delays in reviewing your case.
Governor Prizer warned that unemployment fraud is a massive, nationwide scam that both the FBI and FTC are investigating.
Thousands of Illinois residents have applied for unemployment insurance benefits and COVID relief benefits. Illinois State Attorney General Kwame Raoul was a victim of the COVID unemployment benefit fraud:
“I myself was a recipient of a such a card so I had to also take some steps. If they’re not careful enough they may be sharing some information or giving folks access to ways to get more information on them, and so unfortunately it happens to the best of us, you know. So, it’s important to take steps.”
COVID has created many uncertainties in our daily lives, including unemployment benefit fraud. With all the disruption and the need to find a new normal, there are some things you can control. Now is the time to review and revise your estate plan so that if the unexpected does happen, your loved ones are protected.
For peace of mind, talk to a qualified estate planning attorney in Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-382-8065.