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Unemployment benefits wiped from accounts with no explanation

Arizona Department of Economic Security
Posted at 9:56 PM, Jul 11, 2020

Many people receiving unemployment money from Arizona woke up Saturday to empty accounts.

Friday night, the unemployment accounts of people who received their money via a Bank of America debit card were emptied.

"It's panic mode. It's panic mode. People woke up this morning with no money," said Sean Brady, who had $5,134.82 withdrawn from his account from the Arizona Department of Economic Security. "There are people in dire straights right now. That was it, that was all they had."

Brady and others received an email at 11 p.m. local time Friday night reading their account had been closed at the request of their employer, but did not receive a warning notification.

The loss of money seemed to only affect people who currently live out of state, but file for unemployment in Arizona due to work history. Brady currently lives in Illinois.

"My money was zeroed out, I had zero dollars in my account," said Caren Kolb, who lost $4,100. "I was just kind of panicked. How did this evaporate? Who has authorization to take it?"

DES says impacted cardholders who believe they are eligible for benefits should contact DES directly at AZUIFraud@azdes.gov.

DES also released the following information online Monday: