3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - You may remember Barbara Takacs from a previous 3 On Your Side report when she showed us her debit card from the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
She explained how she went out to her mailbox recently, reached inside and pulled out an envelope with the debit card loaded with money. And that money was from the DES.
A Scottsdale woman who has a job and did NOT file for unemployment was surprised when money started coming in from DES.
“At that point, I had never filed,” she told 3 On Your Side. “I'm still working so I'm a little confused and bewildered as to why this is happening."
Takacs wanted to know why in the world did DES send her a debit card with $840 when she's gainfully employed and never filed for assistance.
So, 3 On Your Side asked DES to investigate and here's the update.
The agency discovered a scammer posing as Takacs and using her information filed for unemployment benefits. But if the debit card was mailed to Takacs, how would the scammer access all that money? Well, easy!
"I was told that eventually they would go ahead and call DES and say that I lost my debit card and, by the way, I need it sent to a different address and that's how they would have received the $840 on the debit card."
Because 3 On Your Side exposed the fraud, DES says it's pulling all the money off the debit card so those in need can use the funds.
Takacs says she's glad the money is being returned and says it happened with the help of 3 On Your Side.
"I am so grateful that I contacted 3 On Your Side. I couldn't have done it without you, Gary Harper. Thank you so much," Takacs said.
Also, be on guard for phishing scams where scammers will pose as DES representatives and ask you to update personal information like your PIN or Social Security number. Please don't fall for it.