FBI investigates IDES debacle after identity theft scam

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CHICAGO — The Chicago FBI office tells WGNTV if you think you are a victim of identity theft related to Illinois’ Department of Employment Security (IDES), get in touch with federal agents now.

Detectives are investigating how tens of thousands of Illinois residents have had their personal information stolen, maybe even sold on the dark web, so scammers could use it to take IDES money intended for actual applicants filing for state unemployment dollars.

For months IDES has been plagued with claims by victims who never applied for unemployment but are getting information from IDES or a third party bank that they have filed for assistance during the pandemic. Calls and emails placed to the state agency and its fraud line have gone largely unanswered.

Victims are not just worried, they are fearful that if they don’t clear their names, next year the IRS will try to tax them for unemployment dollars they never even received.

A spokesperson for the FBI says it is happening in many ways, but one of the earliest problems detected was tied to fraudulent debit cards sent to unsuspecting victims in the mail.

In order to get your fraud case on the  record with authorities, the FBI says call 1-800-CALL-FBI

Or log onto its website: tips.fbi.gov

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