I-Team: State fixes security glitch, but some still waiting on unemployment checks

TROY — An investigation into problems with the Ohio unemployment system now shows the state’s proposed fix is not getting some people their money yet.

Anyone that loses a job in Ohio can apply for unemployment online or come to a county job and family services office.

Some have said that process has been a nightmare.

“I spent over 40 hours on the phone in the last two weeks with unemployment,” Danielle Howard said.

Howard was furloughed from her job this summer and approved for unemployment.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Out of work and can’t get benefits through ODJFS? Blame computer hack

Right before her first payment was supposed to arrive she got a text.

“I got a text saying, ‘Here is your one-time passcode,’” Howard said.

She thought this was odd as she hadn’t logged into her account.

When she tried to, she discovered she was one of 28,000 people locked out of their accounts.

“It’s a nightmare because there is no one I can turn to,” Howard said.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services previously told News Center 7 the state was trying to restore clients’ access one person at a time and called the problem an “attempted fraudulent access to accounts.”

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: ODJFS investigating high number of fraudulent jobless claims

It resulted in long wait times on the phone and problems accessing the department’s website.

A spokesperson now tells News Center 7′s “the agency’s Information Technology team discovered and fixed a security flaw.”

They also said when they noticed the fraudulent access “as a precaution ODJFS locked more than 28,000 accounts with suspicious activity.”

But Howard said the problem hasn’t been solved — she is now able to log into her account but has received no payments.

Her account states the money is being held and to get it she has to fill out an affidavit and have it notarized, swearing she did not get the money.

“I haven’t thrown things yet but I have cried and I have screamed, I can’t put into words how frustrating it is,” she said.

State officials believe they have stopped this fraud attempt now but not before they paid nearly $190,000 into fake accounts.

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