4 Paws 4 Ability CEO falls victim to fraud; unemployment claim made in her name

4 Paws 4 Ability CEO falls victim to fraud; unemployment claim made in her name

XENIA, Ohio — The CEO of a local non-profit organization in Greene County said thieves stole her identity and filed an unemployment claim using her information.

Karen Shirk, the founder and CEO of 4 Paws For Ability told News Center 7′s Gabrielle Enright that she told the state the claim is fraud and is getting nowhere. She said it all started a few weeks ago when she opened the mail at the office.

According to Shirk, “I got an unemployment claim and I look and I’m like this is my name and the last four digits of my Social Security number and I am not unemployed.”

Content Continues Below

Shirk said she called the state and received a message that said they are experiencing an high call volume and if you would like to check your claim status, press 1.

“It’s really frustrating. I’ve called this number 50 times,” Shirk said.

She finally got through to a real person and told them that she had not filed a claim. “A week ago, 4 Paws received another letter that said this unemployment claim has been allowed.”

Shirk said she called the state again and learned that two payments of nearly $500 were deposited in her name to a bank account that was not hers.

“I’ve sent three emails and called five times and talked with five different people and no body is doing anything. It’s like no one cares that a scammer is getting Ohio’s money,” Shirk said.

News Center 7 reported in June that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services had placed fraud alerts on nearly 300,000 claims after noticing suspicious behavior.

Shirk said no one has responded to her and now she’s worried how this fake claim will affect her future.

"I’m worried because the did use my Social Security number. Will they come back and get me? I don’t know if you have to pay taxes on unemployment, I haven’t looked.

News Center 7 reached out to the state to learn about the status of the fraudulent claim made in Shirk’s name. The state is now working with Shirk to get the issue resolved.