Submitted by Richard Allen, EA, AFSP
Local ABC News is reporting on a new scam involving Keybank debit cards
actually authorized by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDES). Details
IDES normally issues debit cards to recipients of unemployment benefits. These real debit cards are issued Keybank, a Cleveland Ohio bank.
Yesterday, local ABC news in Chicago reported many SENIORS have been receiving these cards in an unsolicited mail. These appear to be actual cards, actually sent by IDES in connection with Keybank. Recipients have reported calling Keybank to find out there are funds amounting to several thousand dollars.
A suburban Chicago police department yesterday reported dozens of phone calls for senior citizens in their towns who have received such cards. Today, one of my tax clients who has received this card called me.
It appears that somehow the IDES computer systems have been HACKED to issue these cards to individuals who are not receiving unemployment benefits. If these funds were really transferred to Keybank debit cards, IDES will eventually want their funds back. Meanwhile, it is unknown why the
hackers have done this. Will they try to get these debit card balances back from the seniors who received these cards? Will they try to steal their identities? No one knows yet why this hacking has been done.
Here is what recipients need to do:
1. DO NOT USE THIS KEYBANK DEBIT CARD IF YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. If a recipient actually uses this unauthorized card they will probably have to pay the funds back.
2. ABC News and the local police departments they contacted said for recipients to call their local police department immediately to report this probable crime.
3. ABC News said to call IDES at their 800-244-5631 phone number to report the UNSOLICITED DEBIT CARD. Please note that this call line is extremely busy with actual unemployment benefit callers, and that the caller may not actually get through to anyone.
4. Recipients should use extreme caution if they get calls or solicitations from anyone for anything about these cards.
5. Recipients may want to place credit freezes or a fraud alert to prevent further identity theft. Call one of the credit bureaus below:
• Experian: www.experian.com to add an alert and view your report immediately; 1 888 397 3742.
• Equifax: 1 800 525 6285, www.equifax.com.
• TransUnion: 1 800 680 7289, www.transunion.com.
As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then alsomust place fraud alerts in your file.