Oklahoma has now recovered $75 million from fraudulent unemployment claims that were filed in recent months. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said they've put a hold on 100,000 fraudulent claims so far.
Vanessa Hicks said someone filed a fraudulent claim using her information 3 months ago, which put a hold on her account. That is now a problem, as she has since lost her job and needs unemployment.
"It has pretty much prolonged it, if not prevented me from filing. So I had to wait until the fraudulent claims department basically reset my account so that I could file for unemployment," said Hicks.
Last month, Hicks lost her job, but because of the fraudulent claim, she hasn't been able to file for unemployment. OESC Interim Director Shelley Zumwalt said if a criminal has already taken money out in your name, the process takes longer to fix.
"Your information was stolen first of all. Fraudulent claim filed in your name and depending on whether funds were paid out of not is really the key in this situation on kind of the timeline for that," said Zumwalt. "Don't spend it please. I think most people are honest, but we do have situations where people have spent it and I just have to say, we will do an investigation and we will get that money back," said Zumwalt.
Zumwalt said if you get a benefits card in the mail that's addressed to someone else, who doesn't live in your home, you should cut the card up and throw it in the trash.
The OESC said if someone has attempted to use your identity to file for unemployment you should report it on the attorney general's website here.