IDES fraud update

According to the Chicago Tribune, State of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced the launch of a task force that includes IDES, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Revenue, U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General, IRS and FBI to share federal, state and local resources to address the widespread unemployment fraud.

IDES estimates that there have been more than 350,000 fraudulent claims in Illinois since March 1, 2020. With the new round of unemployment benefits contained in the recently approved federal pandemic relief package, more cases are expected. According to IDES, the rise in unemployment fraud is likely due to large corporate data breaches such as the 2017 Equifax breach, which exposed the personal data of millions of people including names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth, addresses and credit card information.

Individuals who have not filed for unemployment benefits but receive a letter from IDES stating a claim has been filed under their name should immediately report it through the IDES website or by calling 800-814-0513. The FBI suggests that victims should ask the IRS for a PIN before filing their tax returns this year.

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