Identity theft cases on rise here, statewide
Phyllis Tipton was upset when she came to the Versailles Police
Department (VPD) last week to file a report on a case of attempted
identity theft – her own.
According to Woodford County Attorney Alan George, identity theft cases,
with the apparent motive in most of them being to steal unemployment
benefits, are on the rise. He should know – in February, someone tried
to file an unemployment claim in his name, but erred by spelling his
first name “Allen,” he said.
Assistant Versailles Police Chief Rob Young also said he’s noticed a
marked increase in the number of cases of identity theft involving
unemployment insurance, and that the problem has swamped the state
attorney general’s office.
Two days after she visited the police station, Tipton spoke to the Sun.
“I got a call from work (the previous Wednesday or Thursday). They said
someone had filed unemployment on me …” she said.
Tipton said her employer was contacted by someone with the state Office
of Unemployment Insurance asking to confirm that she had filed for
unemployment – she hadn’t. Then she was advised she had some work to do.
“You have to file a police report, you have to call all three credit
places, you have to call the Social Security office, you have to call
all your credit card companies, the bank and then the IRS,” she said.
She said she didn’t believe there was anything the Versailles Police
Department could do, but a paper trail was needed to ensure she’s not
responsible for acts committed by someone who obtained personal
information like her social security number.
Tipton said she doesn’t how her would-be identity thief obtained her
personal information, but believes it was done through the state
unemployment system. According to a letter she received from the state
Office of Unemployment Insurance, $11,596 in benefits were requested by
her would-be thief.
“Whoever’s doing this is filing on people that are working, but you have
people who are out of work who still have never got their unemployment,
and that’s so sad,” she said.