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Oklahomans frustrated after unemployment debit cards disabled, flagged for fraud

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 07:33:26-04

TULSA, Okla. — Some Oklahomans on unemployment are frustrated after their "Way2Go" unemployment debit cards were disabled over the weekend after they were flagged for fraud.

One of those unable to use their card is John Richardson. He went on unemployment in March after he was laid off from a company he worked for for 30 years. Now, he's unable to access his unemployment benefits.

“It’s just been a long, frustrating weekend," Richardson said. "And I still have not been able to talk to a person.”

Richardson said he’s spent about 16 to 20 hours on hold over the past three days, unsuccessfully trying to reach someone at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. His unemployment debit card was declined Saturday and flagged for fraud, but he doesn’t know why.

“It’s been in my possession," Richardson said. "I mean, unless I’ve been hacked somehow. But then again, I can’t talk to anybody to tell me why they flagged it.”

OESC provided an update on its Facebook page Monday evening. It said:

OESC is continuing to review the accounts that were flagged as part of the fraud stop process over the weekend. The agency understands that some legitimate accounts have been affected by this process and is continuing to expedite its review process for those accounts. OESC encourages claimants who have provided the necessary information to the agency, and who have questions about their accounts, to review the status of their cards as they evaluate if they need to contact a local office for additional support for their card or claim. Updates to accounts are moving forward on a rolling basis.
Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

OESC also said:

Claimants who need to confirm their identity may call OESC’s customer service at 405-525-1500 or visit their local OESC office with their identification to unlock their account.

Richardson said he’ll try calling again Tuesday, but after that, it will be time to visit an office. He’s hoping this gets resolved quickly before the bills need to be paid.

“Getting things turned off. I mean, if I can’t pay an electric bill or a water bill then what?" Richardson said.

OESC said there was also a delay in pandemic unemployment assistance payments Monday. It said the problem has been fixed and those payments will process overnight.

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