Kansas Department of Labor fighting unprecedented fraud

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) announced it is taking actions to combat the growing threat of identity theft.

Kansas is seeing a historic increase in reports of fraudulent unemployment claims.

To date, KDOL has prevented approximately 45,000 identity theft-related fraudulent claims from being paid out.

“We are seeing a record spike in identity theft-related unemployment fraud in Kansas and nationally,” Acting Secretary of Labor Ryan Wright said.

In response to the amount of fraud, KDOL created the www.ReportFraud.ks.gov website.

The site serves as a one-stop shop for any person that suspects she or he may have been a victim of identity theft.

Once a suspected identity theft claim is reported on the site, the system generates a police report number and tips for victims to use to help control the damage from the theft.

The agency’s fraud team is then able to prevent the fraudulent claims from being paid.

“We have created this easy to use website as a simple way for individuals and businesses to report any suspected cases of identity theft related to an unemployment claim. In addition to being able to report suspicious activity, we have also provided a number of resources for those who have become victims to identity theft to protect themselves.”

Ryan Wright, Acting Secretary of Labor

KDOL is taking multiple steps to investigate these fraudulent claims and hold those responsible accountable.

“A review of these fraudulent claims indicates that scammers are obtaining personal information through activities such as credit card data breaches, email phishing schemes or sophisticated cybersecurity attacks and using that information to illegally attempt to collect unemployment insurance,” Wright said. “Consumers need to be vigilant, and if they find they are impacted, immediately take action.”

KDOL is also reaching out to employers across Kansas to raise awareness and alert
them to the growing number of cases where scammers have reached out to multiple employees of the same business.

Since March 15, KDOL has paid out more than 2.5 million weekly claims totaling over $2 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs.

For more information, or to apply for unemployment benefits, go to www.GetKansasBenefits.gov.

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