HUBBARD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – William Marx is still trying to get someone to even open a fraud claim as someone uses his name and Social Security number to collect unemployment money.
He said it started Nov. 13 when he received a notice that a pin number used to manage the unemployment money was changed.
“I have never filed for unemployment so I made a phone call that day, and it’s really the only time I ever talked to a live person when I got through, and I was told they couldn’t do anything to help me,” Marx said. “They gave me a fraud line. I’ve made 75-plus calls to that fraud line.”
According to a report he filed with the Hubbard Township Police Department, between himself and one of the officers, they have reached out to the Ohio Unemployment Office and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which advised contacting the Governor’s Office, which was done. So far, Marx said no one has responded.
“I’ve filed three online fraud complaints, sent two letters, my employer sent letters…the official documents from the state disputing any unemployment claims, everything’s been overruled, and as of last week, the checks started flowing,” Marx said.
At first, he received a physical check, and then the next day, he received a U.S. Bank ReliaCard, which the state loads money onto for unemployed individuals. Even though the card is run through U.S. Bank, they have no control over it.
“So they got the numbers off the front and the back and everything, sent it to the state, no communication, nothing,” Marx said.
He has the card but hasn’t used it or the check and he doesn’t know if the state can issue the person posing as him another card because no one will talk to him. He said the situation has been a nightmare. He’s been watching his statements, calling credit card companies, banks, and they all ask him for a claim number, but he can’t give them one because no one will look into it for him.
“But there is absolutely no response from the state,” Marx said.
He’s also concerned because he wouldn’t be able to get unemployment if he needed it, and come tax time, he doesn’t want to be responsible for paying for that money.
He said the communication is what bothers him and that it would be more manageable to get through if someone would talk to him.
“It’s great cancelling all your credit cards the week before Christmas,” Marx said.
He also realizes people need money right now, and maybe if the state started looking into these fraud claims, they’d be saving money that officials could use to help those in need.
So far, the police department has been the most helpful for Marx. He said he hasn’t figured out how it happened.
First News reached out to the Ohio Unemployment Office as well as the Governor’s Office. A representative from the unemployment office contacted us, and we forwarded their information to Marx to followup.
According to Thomas Betti, a spokesperson with the Ohio Unemployment Office, fraud reports can be filed at jfs.ohio.gov/fraud, call 1-800-686-1555 and select Option 1, fax 1-614-752-4808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section, which has an identity theft unit, go to OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/IdentityTheft.