You hear all this talk about people having their identity stolen or falling victim to a scam or whatnot in the news and you think, "Nah, won't happen to me." And then? It happens to me.
I got a letter in the mail yesterday or today from our state's department of employment security saying that unemployment benefits were applied for in my name relating to my current job.
While I have not worked since December 23 (we get the end of the year off as a gift from our owners), I was not told to not come back the first week of January, so that was my first indication this was a scam. Second one was that the letter said I was laid off back at the end of April and I've been paid many times since then so...
Katie and I talked and we started researching what is apparently one of the most pervasive scams going on right now. These get filed en masse... hundreds or thousands... in hopes that even one person falls prey. I even heard that the scammers will file mail forwarding notices to have the benefits information go to an abandoned house or building so you can’t intercept and stop it.
I went to the IDES website and reported the scam so they can cancel the application, I contacted my local police department to file a police report (I was, at least, the second one to file a report just to this particular officer today alone), I checked my bank account to make sure it was all okay, and I checked my credit reports. I'm still going to call the IDES and make sure I did all I needed to do.
Insofar as many of the people I talked to have indicated, I'm doing all I can especially with so many offices closed for the holidays.
Man, the intelligence of the people running this scam... do it during the holidays when you're less likely to pay attention or you're away on vacation or you're apt to just toss out mail you don't recognize. If they put that brainpower to use legally, this world would be a much better place.
Please, people, open up ALL your mail. It’s too easy to overlook this sort of letter and just toss it out or shred it, as we would normally do. But take a moment and LOOK! Make sure nothing like this happens to you.
2020’s only got a couple hours left and it’s still finding ways to kick me in the nuts.