COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says thousands of new unemployment claims are being investigated as potential cases of fraud. 

According to the ODJFS, in the week ending Feb. 6, there were 140,444 new unemployment claims filed in the state. That’s a 194% increase from the prior week.

“To date, 44,000 claims have been flagged under suspicion of fraud and are under review. Even more of the 140,444 new claims are anticipated to be fraudulent. All of the claims will be reviewed, which will create delays in processing some legitimate claims,” the ODJFS released in a statement.

The ODJFS says it is investigating all claims that were flagged for potential fraud and taking steps to implement more robust identity verification in the traditional unemployment program.

Any person who believes their personal information was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim can call the ODJFS toll-free number at 833-658-0394 to notify the agency, or visit unemployment.ohio.gov, and click on the “Report Identity Theft” button.

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