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Ohio Job and Family Services fraud continues to happen

As the number of applications for unemployment assistance exploded all over the country, so did the opportunities for fraud — theft of taxpayer dollars. Officials in most states have been working hard against it, but the onslaught is overwhelming.

Ohio Job and Family Services Director Kim Henderson told another media outlet a lot of work has been done to weed out illegitimate claims. But one infiltration has proved a challenge.

“We know this is a national problem. There is a belief it is the result of international crime rings,” Henderson told a reporter for WBNS in Columbus of the thieves stealing personal information to apply for unemployment benefits.

Henderson said the stolen information is not the result of a leak or breach of a state computer. But OJFS does not know how the information is being stolen. It is being used to apply for both regular unemployment benefits and pandemic unemployment assistance.

There is another problem, though. OJFS does not know how much has been stolen, either.

“We know that the scope is significant, certainly in the hundreds of thousands,” Henderson said.

Amazinglty, false claims have been filed in the names of Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife, Fran, and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. No one is immune.

Be cautious and smart. Follow whatever steps are necessary to protect your identities, folks. Certainly do not give out information to someone you do not know or trust. OJFS employees have enough on their plates these days without worrying a problem that has already cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars may only be getting worse.

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