300 reports of fraudulent unemployment claims from Rhode Islanders

Jessica Bush, a Cumberland resident, is still employed which is why red flags went up when her company received an unemployment claim in her name.

“I was mad obviously someone had my social security number in order to file for unemployment,” Bush said. “You feel violated”

Bush put a freeze on her credit card, filed a police report with State Police, and contacted the Department of Labor and Training. However, she’s yet to hear back.

“It’s like is anyone going to investigate? You would think they would want to its state funds being stolen and our identity,” Bush said.

We reached out to the Director of the Department of Labor and Training, Scott Jensen, he said Bush is not alone. The Department has received around 300 reports from Rhode Islanders since the beginning of the crisis.

“The way it works is usually the person’s identity is stolen months before from a credit card, then the criminals take that identity and use it to apply for unemployment insurance,” Jensen said.

While Jensen said they are working with State Police and the Attorney General’s Office to track down the criminals, Bush said it’s still unsettling.

“That it’s that easy to file unemployment under someone’s name,” Bush said. “How do you easily obtain someone’s social security number?”

If you are a victim, you are asked to call the police and contact dlt.investigations@dlt.ri.gov

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