Job application

Online job application used as a front to steal a Florida woman’s identity

Two words capture the moment Melisa Johnson realized her name was being used to apply for unemployment benefits in another state: “I panicked.

The former deputy director of operations said she traveled and worked remotely from her home in Florida until April 2020, when she was fired due to the sale of the business.

This sparked an online job search on Indeed, leading him to what seemed like a promising lead, but turned out to be a high-stakes ploy to steal his identity and more.

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“My dilemma was that he had all the identification documents,” she said. “He had everything you would put on a job application.”

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Johnson thought she was applying for a marketing position for a Med Spa center in Kansas.

“I researched the company online,” she said. “It was a legitimate business.”

It turned out that impostors were using the company name as a front, claiming to be conducting job interviews from California while collecting information to claim unemployment benefits in that state.

She received a text that read: “Your ID was used to claim unemployment in California.”

Johnson alerted the California Unemployment Office that she had not applied for benefits. When she challenged the man who claimed to represent the company, she remembered that he had gone into denial mode.

“His demeanor has changed and his accent has changed,” Johnson said. “He said ‘No ma’am, this is nothing fraudulent.'”

The man named Michael claimed to be a third party interviewing company for Med Spa.

She called the Kansas company and confirmed her suspicions there was no job posting posted on Indeed, it was all a scam game.

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“A year and a half of wrestling and now someone is going to steal my identity, I was like, ‘Oh my God! “” she said.

She contacted the police, blocked all of her bank accounts and started looking for work again. She has since landed an accounting job but was unable to access it or the accounts of the Department of Economic Opportunities.

Johnson is still entitled to two months of state unemployment benefits.

Join Ends Meet contacted and her account was unlocked, which allowed her to access her DEO Connect account but she quickly found out that it was locked.

“If I can’t access my account, how will I get my tax documents!” ” she said.

The DEO is working to unlock its account and is expected to update it next week.

WD communications director Emilie Oglesby told News 6 that anyone who suspects they have been the victim of fraud should file a report with the Re-Employment Assistance Center.

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“This will help our team identify and lock out any fraudulent accounts,” Oglesby said.

You can also get help with unemployment issues, just Click here.

A fraud assistance kit is also available, Click here to find it.

Remember, if you have an unemployment issue and need our help, email [email protected] or text to make ends meet at 407-676-7428.

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