On Monday, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn learned someone, late last year had filed for a week’s worth of unemployment using his likeness, and a portion of his social security number. The state labor department indicated the person filing stated they were an employee of Erie County. It's unknown at this point if the person filing realized Flynn's actual occupation when filing.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn as a result of seeing how easy it is to become a victim says he’s going after thousands of cases of unemployment fraud in Erie County.

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The reported week of unemployment in December amounts to more than one thousand dollars, making the crime a felony.

Flynn says by state estimates there are more than 425-thousand instances of unemployment fraud filed during the pandemic, including thousands of cases in Erie County.

“There are thousands of people, millions nationwide, who have lost their jobs during this pandemic. and they need a helping hand. And now, you have people who are taking advantage of the system, who are tainting the entire system.”

The District Attorney’s Office is available to assist the people of Erie County with criminal justice matters and crime-related quality of life issues in your community.

Complaints can be made either in-person or over the phone to an on-call Assistant District Attorney, investigator, or a victim/witness advocate who can help you navigate your concern by calling 716-858-2400.

According to NEWS 4 Buffalo (WIVB-TV) you can be proactive to protect your identity, by contacting the state department of labor, or log on to the Federal Trade Commission’s website, and register your name.

You will then be notified if someone tries to use your information.

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