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Stadelman asks victims of fraud to come forward, help bring scammers to justice

UI fraudROCKFORD – To provide assurance to residents that are concerned about potential identity theft after recent claims of fraudulent unemployment cards, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is asking Rockford residents who believe they’ve been a victim to file a report with Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

“During this time of so much uncertainty, it’s sad that people are being taken advantage of,” Stadelman said. “If you believe you’ve been a victim of this scam, you can help other Illinoisans by filing a report with IDES. We need to hold these scammers accountable.”

Recent reports have shown Illinoisans have been receiving KeyBank debit cards and unemployment letters in the mail, despite never applying for benefits. According to IDES, individuals who received these mailings may be targets of fraud.

After receiving these reports, IDES launched an investigation into a national fraud scheme targeting claimants to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. IDES said unclear federal guidelines quickly developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making claimants vulnerable to these scams. IDES also said this scheme is not associated to the PUA program issue experienced in May.

IDES employees are now working with people whose identities have possibly been stolen. The department is also working with local and federal law authorities to track down and prosecute those committing fraud.

Individuals who have received debit cards in the mail without applying for benefits should call IDES immediately at 1-800-814-0513 to report identity theft. Do not activate the debit card.

Victims of fraud are also encouraged to check their credit reports for possible suspicious activity, post a fraud alert and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

Sen. Steve Stadelman

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34th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Public Health; Revenue; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Worked as a news anchor/reporter for WTVO-Channel 17 for 25 years, In 2003, his coverage of the state's death penalty earned him an Associated Press award for Best Documentary.

Associated Representatives:
John M. Cabello
Maurice A. West II