Unemployment fraud continues

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Local law enforcement officials continue to receive reports of fraudulent unemployment claims resulting from identity theft.

Even Leavenworth’s new mayor has been the victim of this crime.

Nancy Bauder announced Tuesday during a City Commission meeting that she received a notice that she had filed unemployment claims.

She said another member of the City Commission had received a similar notice.

“That’s a scam,” she said. “Somebody is filing under our names.”

Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department, said unemployment fraud in Kansas is investigated by the state’s Department of Labor.

“You have to file a report with the Kansas Department of Labor and they take it from there,” he said.

People can use an online form to report unemployment fraud to the Kansas Department of Labor by visiting www.fraudreport.ks.gov

People also can call a fraud hotline at 785-291-6059.

A fraudulent claim created using a person’s personal information, such as a Social Security number and date of birth, indicates personal information is exposed and there may be risk of further financial harm. In such cases, the Kansas Department of Labor recommends victims take additional steps including contacting the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov

The Department of Labor also recommends people place fraud alerts on their credit records by contacting one of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, 866-349-5191, Experian, 888-397-3742, and TransUnion, 800-680-7289.

The Kansas Department of Labor also recommends people contact their banks and credit card providers in order to flag irregular transactions.

The Department of Labor also recommends people check their Social Security earnings statements to make sure their reported wages are correct by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount

Nicodemus said people can help protect their personal information by not using the same password for everything, periodically changing passwords and not using passwords that are easy to figure out.

He said people can monitor their credit reports for abnormalities and even freeze their credit, which may block others from fraudulently using it.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR