Palm Beach County’s Marjorie Hollman lived on pasta and peanut butter sandwiches for four months after a scammer used her identity to apply for state unemployment benefits with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
“I’m 69 years old, I’m diabetic, I have Crohn’s disease,” she said. “I couldn’t even look at the account because I was locked out!”
Hollman’s government unemployment account was suspended after someone applied for benefits with their personal information a few months prior to her job as an Internet auto sales manager in Del Ray Beach.
“Come to find out someone by my social (and) my name who applied for unemployment benefits in February,” she said. “I have used up my savings, exhausted my credit cards to zero.”
Hollman lost her job in April and despite confirmation from the DEO that her identity had been compromised, she was unable to get access to the thousands of dollars in state and federal benefits to which she was entitled.
Although she is not in WKMG view, she said a relative read about the success of Make Ends Meet on ClickOrlando.com and she contacted News 6 for help.
“My sister-in-law found you somehow on the Internet,” recalls Hollman. “She said, ‘You have to contact Make Ends Meet, they’ll help everyone.'”
Make Ends Meet presented her case to the DEO Fraud Department and within 72 hours the senior citizen’s account was unlocked and she had access to her state and federal benefits totaling more than $ 8,000.
“I’m not even in your field of vision and you’re helping me,” she said. “I’m doing all I can to hold back tears, how wonderful you guys are, it’s just amazing.”
The DEO has investigated around 250,000 cases of fraud in the past 18 months.
News 6 continues to work with the DEO Fraud Department and the Orlando Secret Service to educate consumers about possible identity theft.
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft in reemployment assistance, or are an employer and have an employee who is a victim, it is important that you immediately call 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833- 352-7759). In order for the department to properly deal with re-employment identity theft situations, it is important that both you and the employer complete and return all submitted claims forms.
If you have an unemployment problem, email [email protected] or text Make Ends Meet to 407-676-7428.
There are other steps you might want to take such as: B. reporting your information to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by completing a complaint form here. The NCDF is a national coordinating body within the Department of Justice’s criminal department dedicated to improving the detection, prevention, investigation and prosecution of criminal behavior related to natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies such as coronavirus (COVID-19). .
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