I-Team: Nevadans continue to report issues with unemployment fraud

I-Team

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevadans who are owed unemployment money are having a tough time getting those dollars, and fraud is another hurdle in our state.

Melody Stephens-McClain is having a tough time getting through to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) about unemployment money she says she is owed.

“Oh, it’s so frustrating,” she said.

While Stephens-McClain tries to sort that out, she says places of employment listed for her keep changing.

“Every time I log in, it says something different,” she revealed. “It said Amazon, Target, Walmart.”

Stephens-McClain has become wary of the DETR website, and she says she turned to credit monitoring, which already may have helped.

“Someone has tried to put through a department store credit card,” she said.

Getting information from the State of Nevada is a challenge, but here’s what we do know:

It’s estimated that more than 200,000 fraudulent unemployment claims have been filed in Nevada alone.

As the I-Team has reported, many Nevadans have received letters about unemployment that they never applied for. The money has been paid to fraudsters.

For example, city and county employees have become victims:

  • City of Las Vegas: 265 victims
  • City of North Las Vegas: 210 victims
  • City of Henderson: 416 victims
  • Clark County: 298 victims

Stephens-McClain says her priority is getting those unemployment dollars while trying to keep her information safe.

“I need to pay my rent,” she said. “I need to play catch up on a lot of bills.”

A spokeswoman says DETR is not aware of any breach to its system.

At this time, DETR is not aware of any breach to its system. We continue to work with our partners in monitoring and ensuring our sites remain secure while addressing any concerns that may arise.”

DETR spokeswoman

A Henderson spokeswoman tells the I-Team the city has verified there was no security breach within any system where employees’ personal data was compromised.

To date, the City of Henderson has received 416 fraudulent unemployment claims. The Human Resources Department has provided every affected employee with guidance and resources that include reporting the fraud to DETR; filing reports with the Henderson Police Department, Nevada Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission and FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center; and placing a fraud alert with the three credit reporting agencies. The City is also providing affected employees with a year of employer-paid credit and identity monitoring services.

The City of Henderson is just one of many public and private sector agencies that has been impacted by these claims.  In fact, it is estimated there are now over 200,000 unemployment fraud claims in Nevada alone. We do not know how employee information was obtained but being public employees, our names, job titles and earnings are published on various websites. The Department of Information Technology has verified that there was no security breach within any system where employees’ personal data was compromised.

City of Henderson spokeswoman

A spokesman for the City of North Las Vegas says the city continues to work with the Attorney General’s office in its investigation, and we will determine if any changes will be needed based on the findings of the investigation.

The number of fraudulent claims is 210. The City continues to work with the Attorney General’s office in its investigation and we will determine if any changes will be needed based on the findings of the investigation.”

City of North Las Vegas spokesman

So, how is the information getting stolen? It’s an issue the I-Team will continue to investigate.

To report unemployment fraud to DETR, click here. To report it to the FBI, click here.

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