TAYLORVILLE, Ill. – Approximately 200,00 Illinoisans have been targeted by a nationwide fraud scheme. Among the victims is Representative Rodney Davis. Davis tweeted about the situation Wednesday to bring attention to the scam.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security said it’s a widespread scheme attacking each state’s federal pandemic unemployment assistance.
“Somebody applied for unemployment benefits in my name. That person was denied,” Davis said. “I was told I wasn’t going to receive any benefits, which is great.
But the congressman said other people are actually receiving state unemployment funds they didn’t apply for, which will hurt everyone in the long run.
“The worst-case scenario is to have somebody granted benefits in your name and then you don’t know where they went,” he said. “One of my colleagues, Mike Bost, he got a debit card sent to him for unemployment benefits that he never applied for.”
Davis said his office is getting several calls from people in his district with the same issues. However, getting help from IDES has been difficult.
“I called them at 9:30 (Tuesday) morning and got a message saying call another number,” he said.
Davis called that number and left a message on an automated system. He received a text back, saying he would get a return call. But two days later – nothing.
“It’s unacceptable, Vic, to have a message system say they will call you back and I’m working on two days without a contact, not even a text as to when it would come through,” Davis said.
Meanwhile, the IDES is aggressively cracking down on this fraud network. IDES is also working with local and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate, pursue, and prosecute those who are defrauding the unemployment insurance system.