There has been a large amount of identity thefts reported at Eastern Kentucky University in the last several months. Some weeks, most of the crimes reported have been identity theft.
Bryan Makinen, the associate vice president for public safety at EKU, said that many of the identity theft cases are related to unemployment fraud, since every time an employee of the university is the victim of an attempt at fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits, it gets reported as happening on EKU’s campus, and thus, must show up in the crime log.
“Much of the uptick in identity theft claims is from unemployment fraud, which the state government has been trying to get under control,” said Makinen.
In early April 2021, the state said that all citizens receiving unemployment benefits should log into the account and check whether their checks are going to the right place.
While the large number of identity thefts is not directly related to COVID-19, there has been a slight decrease in on-campus crime during COVID-19, as “less people on campus commit less crimes,” said Makinen.
Makinen recommended a few preventative things for students to protect their identity.
“Be cognizant of your credit score and check regularly to see if any accounts have been opened in your name,” he said.
Makinen also mentioned that EKU employees have an option through the university to have their identity protected.
To keep up to date on on-campus crime, access the EKU Crime Log here.
For the state of Kentucky’s tips on preventing unemployment fraud, click here.