The Geneva Police Department is alerting the community about a current trend in identity theft related to unemployment benefits fraud.
In recent days, multiple Geneva residents have reported receiving pre-paid debit cards issued by KeyBank in Cleveland. The cards are being issued on behalf of the Illinois Department of Employment Security with funds intended for unemployment benefits, despite residents never applying for unemployment. Some residents also have reported receiving unemployment benefits from other states.
Criminals can acquire personal identifying information, such as name, date of birth, address, social security number, and current employer, in a variety of ways. The information is then used to make the initial fraudulent unemployment application.
It is currently unknown how the fraud is specifically facilitated; however, it may involve the criminals requesting a change of address from the bank issuing the funds after the unemployment application is processed.
The Geneva Police Department is encouraging victims of these crimes to make a police report, and then report the scam to the appropriate state’s unemployment office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the bank issuing the funds.
Links to report fraud as well as helpful information on identity theft information are listed below:
• Illinois Department of Employment Security;
• Federal Trade Commission;
• USA.gov identity theft prevention tips; and
• FBI news release.
Residents who have questions or would like to file a police report related to this scam can call the Geneva Police Department’s non-emergency number at 630-232-4736.