ODJFS offering free credit monitoring to victims of unemployment-related identity theft

COLUMBUS — Ohio residents who were victims of unemployment-related identity theft are now eligible for a free year of credit monitoring, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

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Around 410,000 Ohioans who previously reported unemployment-related identity theft to ODJFS will be notified through the department about the free credit services, a spokesperson for the department said in a media release.

“The unprecedented amount of claims filed and benefits distributed as a result of the pandemic unfortunately resulted in equally unprecedented fraud across the nation,” ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder said in a media release.

“While we have no evidence any ODJFS system was breached, we are in a unique position to help those who were victimized by providing them with credit-monitoring tools.”

If an Ohioan believes they were a victim of unemployment-related identity theft but have not yet reported it to ODJFS they can report it at unemployment.ohio.gov or calling (833) 658-0394, the spokesperson said.

Since the start of the pandemic, ODJFS has paid around $24 billion in claims to 2.4 million people. The state has identified $496 million in fraudulent overpayments, the spokesperson said.