Metro woman waiting months for unemployment only to have money drained from account overnight

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A Metro woman waiting nearly 3 months for unemployment benefits says she finally got the money loaded onto her card, only to have it stolen.  

“It’s like monopoly. You do not pass go. You do not collect $100. You lose,” said Cherie Leach.  

Leach says Thursday evening, $6,984 was loaded onto her Way2Go card, used by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission to deliver benefits to claimants.  

“The first time I went to sleep I felt relief,” she said.  

But Friday morning, Leach felt a gut punch when she checked her account.  

“When I went to bed, it was in there. It was waiting for me…I wake up to zero balance…That money was only in there for 8 hours,” said Leach.  

Leach says she tried to get ahold of anyone with Conduent, the company in charge of the Way2Go cards.  

“It took me over an hour to get through to these people and then they hung up on me twice,” she said.  

Finally, a representative told Leach that someone else had taken the money off of her card and deposited it into a different bank account that wasn’t hers. She says the only help she was offered was more paperwork to fill out and that she was told it could take 90 to 110 days before the issue would be resolved.  

“I’m getting the same sad runaround story. We will check into it, we will check into it. Oh, I’m waiting,” said Leach.  

News Four also contacted Conduent, but when we called, the company immediately looked into the matter.  

Late Friday night, Conduent offered this statement:  

“Conduent takes seriously its commitment to providing the State of Oklahoma’s residents with important unemployment insurance benefits during this critical time through both our Debit Card services as well as acting as the State’s originator for Direct Deposit. While our state contract and banking privacy rules restricts us from sharing personal information about individual claimants, we are committed to investigating and resolving these matters as thoroughly and as quickly as possible for both our cardholders and closely with our Oklahoma client for direct deposit recipients. With any suspected cardholder fraud cases, we require account holders to submit a fraud questionnaire and we typically can restore missing funds within 10 to 20 days, and sometimes within just a few days or even hours.  We also encourage Direct Deposit enrollees who suspect fraud, to contact our customer service team immediately, and we will work collectively and swiftly with the State on their behalf.  For claimants using either service, we recommend that they take the appropriate steps to safeguard their personal account information, including frequent password changes, to prevent theft or unauthorized access to funds.”

Conduent Company Statement

Leach tells KFOR that a representative with the company reached out to her and said she could expect another card sometime next week with all of the funds reloaded.  

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