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KS Dept. of Labor combats unemployment fraud claims

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 5:53 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Like states all across the country, Kansas is seeing an increase in reports of unemployment claim fraud.

“What we’re seeing is a pretty dramatic increase in fraudulent claims that are being filed as part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program," said Kansas Department of Labor Acting Secretary, Ryan Wright, "Folks are getting a letter from us saying they’ve applied for benefits and that’s their first indication that they’ve been a victim of identity theft.”

He said to date, they have stopped over 55,000 fraudulent claims.

“We have more than doubled the size of our fraud team and we’ve been putting in place a number of sophisticated digital tools to help track these folks," Wright continued saying, "We will hold them accountable, so that if folks have been victimized by this, they should know that we are going to go after these people with every tool that we have at our disposal.”

KDOL has also launched a website, www.ReportFraud.ks.gov, that gives Kansans the tools to protect themselves.

“Check your credit reports, change your passwords regularly and don’t make them easy," Wright said, "Make sure you go to that website because we want to know. We want to get you a police report, so that you can notify your financial institutions and stop those claims from paying out as quickly as possible.”

While they battle fraudsters, Wright said his department continues to work hard to put Kansans filing for unemployment at ease.

“We’ve brought on an additional 200 folks to help answer calls and our call times, the maximum last week that people were waiting was 20 minutes to talk to somebody," he added, "We continue to bring on additional resources to increase our bandwidth because we know there’s always more work to do, especially if you’re trying to put food on your table or pay rent. We’re going to continue to do that, but hopefully we are through the crunch point of this crisis and we’re now able to start focusing on some of that backlog of claims that there are and clearing that up.”

To make a report or get tips on how to protect your identity, visit reportfraud.ks.gov.

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