SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Scottsdale resident Barbara Takacs is gainfully employed. So imagine her surprise when she stepped outside recently, opened her mailbox, and found money from the Arizona Department of Economic Security. "At this point, I never filed. I'm still working,” she told 3 On Your Side. “So, I’m a little confused and bewildered as to why this is happening."

Yea, Barbara has never filed for unemployment benefits. Yet, she just received a shiny new debit card loaded with $840 sent to her from DES. "Yep, I did nothing. Yet, I'm getting money in the mail and that made me really uncomfortable."

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Governor Ducey shut down most of the state back in March. As a result, restaurants, hair salons and numerous other thriving businesses were forced to close putting employees out of work and in financial hardship.

Still, many of those who applied for unemployment benefits through DES complain they're having difficulties getting approved. Barbara says she hasn't spent a dollar on her debit card and says she can't speak to anyone at DES about the issue. "I don't want to take money from people that really need that money and I am looking for someone to get to the bottom of things and how I can solve it," she said.

3 On Your Side reached out to DES and they're currently looking into why this happened. In the meantime, Barbara wants the money to stop coming. "If I could somehow give the money back to those who are truly in need of money, then they can actually start receiving it."

Now, in defense of DES, this doesn't look to be their mistake. There is strong suspicion that this is a stolen identity situation. Again, DES is investigating. I'll let you know what I found out in a follow up report.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.


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