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Got An Unemployment Debit Card But Didn’t File For It? You Could Be Victim Of Scam, Pritzker Warns

People who received a letter or card from the Illinois Department of Employment Security without filing an unemployment claim might be victims of the scheme.

Gov. JB Pritzker speaks at a press conference in May.
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CHICAGO — People who got an unemployment benefits card but didn’t file for unemployment could be the victims of a national scam, Gov. JB Pritzker warned Wednesday.

The scam is under investigation, Pritzker said, but it appears hackers took personal information from people who had their data stolen during previous breaches, like the Equifax data breach in 2017, and used it as part of the scheme.

People who received a letter or card from the Illinois Department of Employment Security without filing an unemployment claim might be victims of the unemployment fraud scam, Pritzker said.

Those people can call the department at 800-814-0513 for help.

They should not activate an unemployment debit card if they received one, Pritzker said, and should check their credit report for suspicious activity.

More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the beginning of the pandemic. In Illinois, roughly 1.45 million residents have filed unemployment claims due to the crisis.

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