Arkansans share stories about being victims of unemployment fraud

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson is warning Arkansans about potential unemployment fraud across the state Tuesday.  

Due to the high amount of fraud happening across Arkansas, there are more than 30,000 unemployment claims across the state that have been put on hold for potential fraud. 

Hutchinson said he was a victim himself and received a letter in the mail saying he was approved for unemployment and now others are sharing their story.  

“It caught me by surprise, you don’t think anything like that would happen to you,’” Mark Allen, who was a victim of unemployment fraud said.  

Thanks to his job, Allen said he quickly learned that he was a victim of unemployment fraud.  

“It’s scary because I mean whoever this is trying to get money in my name,” Allen said.  

Now he has a lot of questions, but the biggest one is.  

“How? I have no idea,” Allen said.  

Typically, the way it works, a person can use someone else’s name to apply and link it to their bank account to it. Allen is one of the hundreds of Arkansans who is dealing with this issue.  

LRPD said they’ve had more than 270 calls for unemployment fraud since last Monday. North Little Rock Police Department said they have had more than 200 calls since then an average at least 10 calls a day.  

Allen said luckily, he caught it Tuesday before any of his credit was affected.  

‘It’s just shocking that this is happening to so many people and so no one’s immune from it and it’s a real problem,” state senator Missy Irvin said.  

State Senator Missy Irvin went from helping other folks with this issue to facing it herself. She said she found out through a letter in the mail about her “termination”.  

“You feel personally violated,” Irvin said. “It takes away from the people that really need it, that need the help and the assistance, it’s just incredibly evil.”  

Irvin and Allen say they hope by sharing their stories they can warn others about what’s happening.  

“Protect your identity the best way you can,” Allen said. 

Senator Irvin said contact your local legislators and they can help too. She said with Arkansas being a fairly small state, we can react quickly.  

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