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Unemployment fraud affecting thousands in Kentucky

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 4:31 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Employment fraud is becoming a major issue in the Commonwealth.

Thousands of Kentuckians have never applied for unemployment, but they are being told they qualify.

“We get calls every single day and reports via our one line system every single day. About 3,500 reports since January,” said Lindsey Hix, Senior Protection of Kentucky’s Attorney General’s Office

One of the people that received a letter saying they qualify for unemployment was Senator Whitney Westerfield of Western Kentucky.

Another man from Frankfort says he did not apply and had no reason to because he retired two years ago.

Kentuckians are worried because they say their social security numbers were on the forms. Many are frustrated because their personal information has been exposed, and they do not know what to do. State officials say go to the kcc.ky.gov website and follow the department of labor link.

“We also recommend that people call one of the 3 credit bureaus and have their credit report run so they can look and see if there’s anything suspicious on their credit. And potentially put a freeze on their credit. It’s about $10 to do that.” Hix said, adding, “And so it’s allowed people that normally wouldn’t be eligible to apply to apply for unemployment. There’s less checks and balances on the employer side. That’s created a lot of perfect storms for this fraud.”

She believes that the COVID-19 pandemic created many loopholes.

“And so it’s allowed people that normally wouldn’t be eligible to apply to apply for unemployment. There’s less checks and balances on the employer side. That’s created a lot of perfect storms for this fraud,” said Hix.

Officials say most of the problems are from data breaches that occurred nationwide are not centered in Kentucky.

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