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Florida DEO launches online fraud reporting tool

Florida man receives unemployment check despite having job
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 17:14:17-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Many Floridians received an unemployment check in the mail, but aren't out of work and never applied for unemployment.

So, what’s the deal? and what do you need to do?

“I received a check that i never filed for," said Gary Wharton.

Wharton struggled to get through to someone at the Department of Economic Opportunity.

"[I] finally got through to somebody and they told me that they were brand new, and they have no idea how to help me," Wharton said, "and she gave me a number to call, which was exactly the number I just called and the second person that I got knew nothing.”

Now, the DEO has launched a new online fraud form, available by clicking here

A spokesperson with the DEO said the form was created “in an effort to streamline” the process for reporting unemployment fraud or identity theft.

“To me, it's like the state doesn't care to even respond on what we're supposed to do next," said Wharton.

Eventually, the DEO put a hold on Wharton's account and he learned fraudulent requests were made to have the unemployment money sent to an address other than his own.

“I hope the whole outcome of this is that the people that actually need the money, get the money,” Wharton said.

When you access the fraud form, you’ll also find other steps to take if you suspect identity theft and a place to send us your information if you’re still having problems collecting unemployment.