OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An apparent unemployment benefit scam is being investigated further after KFOR asked the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission about a viewer’s appeal.

Sarah Carpenter said she received a notice from OESC about an overpaid unemployment claim.

“I didn’t know anything about it until April 19th, which is when I sent that email,” said Carpenter.

She sent an email back in the spring to OESC disputing the claim, which stated that Carpenter owed $1,078.

On April 22, she received a response from OESC.

“We have received your appeal dated 4/19/22 but due to Covid we are extremely backlogged. We are currently processing appeals that were filed in November of last year,” said an OESC representative.

In May of 2020, Carpenter, an accountant, said she switched jobs, but was only out of work for one week and never filed an unemployment claim.

The alleged fraudulent claim made under her name was from May to June of 2020.

Carpenter said the only piece of mail she received was from earlier this year in April, which is what prompted her to write the email.

Her appeal hearing was last week. Carpenter was denied and told she would need to pay the balance.

OESC told Carpenter that it had sent letters regarding the unemployment benefits, and she was late to file an appeal.

“She asked me if I had issues with getting my mail, if anybody else checks my mailbox and just really standard questions and asked me if I ever called the post office wondering why I never received mail,” said Carpenter, talking about the woman in charge of the hearing. “I told her that how could I call my post office for a missing mail that I didn’t know I needed?”

After the hearing Friday, she called In Your Corner looking for help.

“I’m afraid that had I not made a claim with the news, this would have been — this would have gone unresolved completely,” said the accountant.

KFOR reached out to OESC about her case.

Within hours, OESC was in contact with Carpenter working to resolve the issue.

“We got in touch with Sarah,” said Hunter McEachern, OESC spokeswoman. “She is going to provide us the info necessary to rescind the overpayment and she’ll be all set.”

OESC did acknowledge the backlog of claims up for an appeal, like Carpenter, but did not give a number of how many outstanding cases.

The commission wants people to use this link if they have a fraud claim.

Sarah Carpenter was happy about the resolved case, but upset about how it was handled by the state.

“It’s up to the Unemployment Security Commission to make sure that they are taking care of us and making sure that they’re thoroughly looking through these cases,” said Carpenter.