Illinois: Fraudulent jobless claims soar during pandemic

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CHICAGO (AP) — State officials say fraudulent unemployment claims have soared in Illinois as scammers direct jobless benefits to their own accounts at a time when record numbers of residents have sought relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Acting director Kristin Richards said Monday that the Illinois Department of Employment Security “is experiencing fraud in an order of magnitude we’ve never seen before.” The Chicago Tribune reports that the agency says more than 212,000 fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits have been filed with the state since March 1. About 169,000 of those claims were filed under a federal program tied to coronavirus relief.