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More victims speak up regarding Ohio’s unemployment thefts

Published: Jul. 3, 2021 at 9:44 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) -More victims have spoken regarding fraud problems in the latest Ohio unemployment system.

Victims are saying that they are approved for the unemployment benefits, but criminals are changing their bank routing numbers and stealing their money.

>> More hacking victims come forward in Ohio unemployment thefts

Tammy Branum says she has been on the phone with the unemployment office every day.

“On June 21, I went in to look and said that the money had been paid out to my account. When I went to check my bank, it wasn’t in there,” Branum said.

She is not the only one who has had a similar experience.

“I’m kind of wondering if we ever will see the money, you know, things happen like this across the country all day, you know, and I don’t know if they really gonna investigate,” one victim Lawrence Walker said.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services sends victims to the FBI Internet Crime and Complaint Center, IC3, to file a complaint.

“An actual agent who said that all that form is for is for information gathering purposes only. That an analyst may look at it and may use it in gathering evidence towards larger cases or looking for different trends or different, you know, patterns,” another victim Jeff Ingle said.

“After someone files a complaint, the information is reviewed by an analyst and forwarded to federal, state, local or international law enforcement. The IC3 does conduct investigations and, therefore, is not able to provide the investigative status of a previously filed complaint,” Todd Lindgren of the FBI said.

While this is happening, victims who have reported the theft must show proof of identity again. This is because their claim is frozen after their benefits are stolen.

Branum says that she was told that it could take up to six weeks “because they have a lot of cases that they’re working on.”

According to the FBI website, the FBI has received more than 1 million complaints of computer crimes since the pandemic started.

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