VERSAILLES, Ky. (LEX 18) — Brandon Kidwell was in for quite a surprise when he opened his mail and saw it was a 1099g tax form.
"I started to dig in and investigate why it was so high," said Kidwell.
The form showed he collected nearly $9,500 in unemployment benefits in 2020. Kidwell says he received much less than that amount and got even more concerned when he logged onto the state unemployment website to look at his account.
"I found out my bank account had been changed and then somebody had been withdrawing from my account, my unemployment account since Nov 13," said Kidwell.
The Versailles man says he stopped drawing benefits in July when he went back to work. He tells LEX 18 someone used his personal information to access his UI account and changed his banking information.
"I saw my routing number and account number had been changed," said Kidwell.
Kidwell says since mid-November until recently the unemployment money was going to a bank in Utah. He wants to know why the security breach wasn't caught by the system.
"I don't understand if they changed the address on the bank why was that not flagged? Why didn't I get a letter saying I'd been re-instated for unemployment?" said Kidwell.
"I've called every hotline, I've called everybody I could try to call," says Kidwell. "I'm trying to deal with this before my taxes are due and I can't get ahold of anybody you have to keep going, fighting."
We informed someone at the Kentucky Labor Cabinet about Kidwell's dilemma. A spokesman said officials will looking into the alleged fraud.
Kidwell says he can't believe it is so hard to report the suspicious activity. He tells us he just wants to do the right thing since so many people are going without their benefits.
"It's awful, that's why I try to put a stop to it so they'd stop getting the money that should go to Kentuckians," said Kidwell. "I might be the first one who noticed it but how many people has it affected or how many other people are out there not getting their benefits because something like this happened to them?"
Thursday the Governor's Office released information on how to report suspected fraud. Go to the KCC website homepage Kentucky Career Center Attention: Important UI Messages and look for 'Attention: Important UI Messages' with a document to assist with 1099 questions. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org]email@example.com.