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Suburban Police Warn Against Unemployment Benefits Scam

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There have been several reports of people being scammed when they receive a debit card for unemployment benefits for which they have not applied, according to multiple suburban police departments.

The Frankfort Police Department said cards have the Illinois state insignia and are used to load unemployment benefit payments after a claim has been approved.

Palos Park police say a senior citizen there was also a target. Police say scammers are applying for the IDES benefits and seem to be using personal information from victims obtained from phishing scams or previous unrelated data breaches. Sometimes the payments are sent to the real person's account instead of the scammer and the scammers call, text o email trying to get the victim to send some or all of the money to them. They may even say they are from the state unemployment agency and that the money was sent by mistake.

Palos Park police recommend destroying the debit card if you receive one for which you did not apply.

RELATED: Peoria Woman Receives Unemployment Benefits Card For Mom Who's Been Dead Two Years | Fraudsters May Be Targeting Seniors By Applying For Illinois Unemployment Debit Cards In Their Names | The Promise Of A Paycheck Is Sometimes A Scam | Rush To Pay Unemployment Claims Brings Spike In Fraudulent Cases | CBS 2 Investigators: Employed People Getting Hit With IDES Scam To Divulge Bank Information | Unemployment Money Mistakenly Approved For Illinois State Employee Who Is Still Working

If you receive a letter and a debit card from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, you are asked to contact police as you may be the target of fraud. Police also encourage anyone who has received these items unsolicited to contact IDES at 800-814-0513.

CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.

We'll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.

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