Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Bombard Oklahoma Businesses


Wednesday, May 6th 2020, 9:56 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


Businesses are being bombarded by notices that scammers are claiming to be their employees and have filed for unemployment benefits.

The state has reported more than 6,000 of these cases recently and the attorney general said his office will take action.

When the owners at Go Ballistic opened up their mailbox about a week ago, they found 18 fraudulent unemployment claims from people they had never employed. 

Francisco Pena and his wife Angie own Go Ballistic near 61st and Sheridan, where they offer activities for kids like an arcade, inflatables, virtual reality and more. 

They had to shut down in March and didn't find the 18 notices until about a week ago.

"When we did, we had 18 letters from the office saying we need to write back ASAP to dispute these claims," said Pena.

Pena said they only employ six people. The scammers filing the fake claims are mostly using other people's personal information.

He said they were able to actually track down some of the people listed, to tell them their social security numbers had been compromised.

"Most weren't in Tulsa, and fun fact, one was even deceased as of last month," He said. "It was just like, wow."

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said they're aware of the fraud and working with the OSBI and FBI.

The governor's office said the state has identified 6,700 claims as fraud and still have thousands more to examine.

The owner of Oklahoma Customs Inc. shared these photos with us, showing more than 100 fraudulent notices he's received.

Pena just hopes to see it come to an end.

"We need to follow these steps and make sure these people are stopped," he said.

Anyone with similar issues is asked to email fraud@oesc.state.ok.us