More than a quarter of Monticello school staff members have had fraudulent unemployment claims filed on their behalf, School Superintendent Vic Zimmerman told the school board on Wednesday.

“It's pretty crazy,” he said, noting that 20 had been flagged by the school district this week alone, bringing the total to 65.

“We've had 65 employees out of 225 who have had fraudulent unemployment claims sent in on their behalf. Several of our employees have actually had two claims sent in on their behalf, and actually three that used their maiden names. One of them has been married 30 years.”

Among the victims are Zimmerman and his wife. When the subject came up at the board meeting, several others chimed in that false claims had been filed in their name, including school board president Gary Huisinga.

Zimmerman said some of the work for school district employees who have been targeted is being taken care of by the human resources department.

“We call them (the employee) to make sure they didn't file. Then Janna (McGiles, the district Human Resources secretary) goes in and marks it as fraudulent on the IDES website, and we give the employee information where they can go in, and they can call a number or go on a website and mark the claim fraudulent.”

Reports can also be filed on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website at https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/Reporting_Unemployment_Insurance_Fraud.aspx.

The website assures state residents that “you do not owe any money as a result of a fraudulent claim,” and that any dollars obtained by scammers will not need to be paid back by the employee or employer.

Free credit reports are also available for people to review credit scores for fraudulent activities. A request for free reports can be made at www.annualcreditreport.com.

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