The U.S. Department of Labor says it's stopped payment on nearly 3,800 fraudulently filed unemployment claims targeting Oklahoma.
The department's Office of Inspector General says more than 30% of those came from IP addresses located in London. Authorities say they blocked those addresses and other foreign IP addresses from accessing claims through OESC. The Department of Justice says that block is saving the state of Oklahoma from paying out nearly $16-million in fraudulent claims.
“Where there is crisis, criminals see opportunity. Fraudsters won’t hesitate to fill their pockets with money intended for hard-working Oklahomans who have lost their jobs during this current health crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “My Coronavirus Anti-Fraud Team will continue to partner with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Department of Labor, and local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement to investigate and shut down these unscrupulous networks.”
U.S. Attorney Shores and Attorney General Mike Hunter are encouraging Oklahomans to report any unemployment notices they receive from the OESC that were filed fraudulently in their names. . For more information about COVID-19 fraud, visit the Justice Department’s website or the Oklahoma Attorney General’s website