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'Unemployment insurance fraud rises': Thousands stolen from Tulsan's state-issued debit card

Posted at 10:20 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 23:32:52-04

TULSA, Okla. — A hard-hit area of fraud is unemployment insurance. The number of people reporting stolen benefits keeps rising and Carrie Hall is not spared. She said at least $5,000 was taken from her account through the state-issued debit card she received.

Hall has a message for whoever is responsible for taking her money.

“You may get by, but you won’t get away,” Hall said. “She swiped it and she said, ‘Uh, it declined.’”

Hall left a trip to the bank confused and worried. She immediately tallied receipts and found they were not matching her low account balance.

Hall was furloughed at the end of March. She applied for unemployment benefits through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC).

“I was getting more money from unemployment than I actually did at my job," Hall said. "So, it was truly a blessing from the lord. It really was."

A blessing that switched. The OESC issued Hall a debit card through a vendor called Conduent. After going through her bank statement by phone with Conduent, Hall said they discovered questionable withdrawals. Now, Conduent’s fraud division is involved.

“They said they’re investigating. I believe in God that they will get some of my money back,” Hall said.

Conduent sent 2 Works for You the following statement:

“We are proud to be part of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission’s (OESC) team that is delivering benefits to well over one hundred thousand Oklahoma citizens. While the recent reported incidents of fraud were not the result of data compromise at Conduent, we have continued to work collaboratively with OESC to examine any incidents of fraud, whether they involve our portion of the process or before we become involved, and implement additional security measures to further protect benefits recipients. Many states have reported increases in fraud related to unemployment insurance programs. We encourage account holders to safeguard their personal data and change passwords regularly, especially given recent warnings by the federal government about international fraud rings targeting unemployment insurance benefits in many states across the country.”

Account holders experiencing issues can contact Conduent at 866-320-8699.

There is no timeline on Hall's fraud investigation or answer to whether she will get her money back.

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