Who really is to blame


for the fake unemployment letters?


Fake letters confirming application for unemployment is under heavy scrutiny as chaos breaks out among untold thousands of Oklahomans.

Both business and employees are scurrying to file fraudulent claims to local police, OESC website, the attorney general and FTC websites. Mad citizens are putting holds on their credit reports, subscribing to services to protect their identity and wondering if they will have on their permanent record they have applied for unemployment.

One local restaurant owner said he had received 86 letters and knew not one of the people who had applied for unemployment from his businesses. He was furious.

All of this is just adding insult to injury of a crippled Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) office which could not handle the legitimate unemployment claims in Oklahoma, leaving Oklahomans in despair.

The disaster begins even before the massive outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. when the state’s IT department in February through Senate Bill 583 provided for the IT work to be outsourced to Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) with offices in the U.S. but headquartered in Japan.

Drew Wilson with the NTT Strategic Campaigns department had this to offer but would not contribute it to any person other than a NTT DATA spokesperson; “The majority of our team is made up of new hires from Oklahoma, many of whom are former OMES employees, and, based on the responsibilities in our contract, we were not involved in the event referenced.” Once the Oklahoma government

Once the Oklahoma government received numerous calls from legitimate unemployment applicants referencing the cash card they received had no money on it, Senate Bill 583 was rush into action to expedite the correction to make the department more efficient. The outsourcing resulted in the furlough of employees from the OEMS office.

A spokesperson for the OESC who works for Saxum, a public relations firm, calls the letters fraudulent and the fraud did not originate from OESC. He characterizes the fraudulent activity as a result of a credit breach at Experian and various financial institutions in 2018 and 2019.

Phillip Reid, publisher of Reid Newspapers has filed a FOI request to determine if the postal permit used and the envelopes and or letters were produced by the state of Oklahoma. No response has been offered to date.

The question on the table now is whether the hundreds of thousands of unemployment letters sent to citizens still employed were a failure of outsourcing the unemployment benefits or could it be fraudulent activity enabled by the outsourcing. No one from OESC has admitted whether the letters could have actually originated from the OESC office or any state office even though they said fraud was still involved.

It is being recommended recipients not try to activate the cash card which often follows the letter because it may verify a person’s data and provide additional propriety information such as passwords or login in information. Some local banks have already said they have experienced fraudulent activity come into their banks and a consequence of the fake letters.