OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says at least 100,000 fraudulent claims have been filed and resolved, but many Oklahomans say they’re still waiting.
“It’s difficult. It’s frustrating. It makes you mad,” said Brian Bowlan, who is still waiting on the OESC to resolve his claim.
Bowlan lost his job in late June and filed for unemployment, only to find out someone else had already beat him to the punch.
“I had a claim filed on me nine days prior to being let go. Just nine days,” said Bowlan.
He says that fraudulent claim was quickly processed and paid out by the OESC, but his own calls for help went unanswered.
“A crook can go and file a fraudulent claim and they pay out on that so easy, but here I am, and I’m the one that’s suffering,” he said.
Similar cries for help are being heard throughout the state.
“My social security number was already being used and had been used since 2011,” said James Moore.
Moore says the fraud was only half of his battle, saying just getting a hold of anyone at the OESC is next to impossible.
“It took nearly a month and a half,” said Moore.
The OESC has been fraught with fraud for months now. The investigation into why and how now spans across at least five different state agencies and includes the U.S. Department of Labor and even the Secret Service.
As of Tuesday, state agencies could not offer any update on the investigation.
Moore tells KFOR that OESC says his claim could take another six to eight weeks to resolve.
“Having this done to you and having it done for the first time, I can feel what others have felt who have had it done to them and have suffered a great deal,” he said.
Both men say they won’t be able to wait much longer for the money to come in.
“We’ve gone since April 30th…Things are kind of starting to thin out,” said Moore.
“I’ve got a mortgage payment and vehicle payments, and they want their money too, and it’s not there for them,” said Bowlan.
OESC advises those who have become victims of fraud to report the incident by clicking here.
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