OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – More than two years after the start of the pandemic, Oklahomans are still falling victim to unemployment fraud. An Oklahoma City man said he’s been waiting for weeks for the state to clear his name after a fraudster filed a claim as him.
It was Oct. 5th when mechanical insulator Kevin Factor said he was laid off. The next day, he called the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) to file for unemployment.
“They said that I had filed a claim in 2020 during the pandemic and received some unemployment benefits,” he told KFOR.
But Factor told them that he had not applied and that he had worked throughout the pandemic. OESC then launched a fraud investigation.
“It’s frustrating, obviously, but it’s the fact that during the pandemic that I had to work through all of that and take the risk and be exposed to everything, while somebody else got to claim my benefits that is not theirs,” Factor expressed.
He told KFOR he’s still waiting for his name to be cleared by OESC.
“I have called multiple times, been up there twice, giving them every bit of information that I could,” he explained. “I just keep getting the same answer, which is you’re going to have to wait on a call from the fraud investigators.”
He stressed that time is running out.
“We’re getting way behind on bills and things are starting to add up and I could lose my house if this keeps going on like it is,” he added.
KFOR reached out to OESC about the situation, and they told us a team member will be giving Factor a call so he can finally file a claim. They said their fraud investigators cleared him in November but were unable to reach him afterwards when they called.
The OESC also provided the following statement to us:
“Due to our work with our Federal partners and ongoing investigations, we are extremely limited in our ability to speak publicly concerning the areas of fraud. That said, recent enhancements in our use of tools like VerifyOK, our online ID verification application, have been extremely successful and operating as expected. OESC has and will continue to work with law enforcement to identify and prevent fraudulent activity in the state of Oklahoma. If an individual or employer believes they are a victim of unemployment fraud or has information regarding fraudulent activity, they can report it on the state’s website or by calling our hotline. No employer will be impacted financially due to any fraudulent claim filed due to identity theft.”