MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — More than 4-million Texans have filed for unemployment since March and now, fraud schemes are on the rise targeting those in search for a job.
“First I was shocked,” said Michael Burton who fell victim to an unemployment scheme. “They simply said that was basically fraud and to respond to the inquiry I got as an employer and let them know it was not a legitimate claim and I did that and I faxed it in and I kept a copy.”
This is something the Texas Workforce Commission says is happening often.
“Historically, when disaster unemployment is made available, TWC is hit harder with identity theft fraudulent claims,” said Cisco Gamez.
Since March 14, there have been more than 4.4 million unemployment claims filed in Texas.
“Those are over 6 years worth of claims in 6 months’ time,” said Gamez.
Due to the high number of claims, the state wants to make sure you are being cautious when filing for unemployment benefits
“A TWC specialist will never ask for a credit card number or state that there is any kind of fee associated with a claim, there is no fee for applying for unemployment and a specialist can not change your banking information, so the full number is not necessary,” said Cisco.
The situation has become so serious, TWC has set up a hotline for anyone to report fraud schemes.
That number is 800-252-3642 and is open 24/7, seven days a week.
But even with the hackers scheming, TWC says there are still thousands of jobs available right now.
“Texas is hiring, we have more than 675,000 jobs available right now on WorkInTexas.com,” said Gamez.
For those currently on unemployment, more help may soon be on the way.
“President Donald Trump just signed an executive order that could provide up to $400 dollars in additional weekly unemployment benefits using state and federal funds and Texas Workforce Commission is waiting for further guidance from the U.S Department of Labor and when we have information we will share,” said Gamez.
For more information on employment benefits, visit the Texas Workforce Commission website.