A Baltimore County woman who became a victim of identity theft linked to unemployment fraud hopes her story will help others.Maryland and other states announced last month a multimillion-dollar unemployment fraud and identity theft investigation.Julie Constantino, of Reisterstown, wants the unemployment funds to go to someone who needs the money, not a person who may be trying to steal it. She thinks the process is on the right path.”It’s extremely frustrating,” she said. “You don’t know where to turn.”Someone using Constantino’s name and identity information opened accounts at several banks without her permission. One bank sent personal checks, and Constantino realized $5,700 in unemployment benefits from the state of Arizona had been deposited in another account. An investigation is underway.”I’m very confident it will be taken care of,” Constantino said.In July, not sure what to do, Constantino reached out to 11 News, which contacted the attorneys general in Maryland and Arizona. Constantino filed a complaint in Maryland and received this emailed response: “If the claim was filed through the state of Arizona, you will have to contact that state.”Constantino then filed a complaint with the Arizona attorney general. She received this message: “After recent discussions with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, it has been determined they will be handling this type of complaint.”The Arizona Attorney General’s Office also gave some instructions, including: “Please destroy any card received. It is not necessary to keep any paperwork as evidence.”Constantino said, for her protection, she’s keeping everything.”I feel relieved. I honestly feel I’ve been put in the right place with the right people and they are going to get their money back,” Constantino said.The Arizona funds remain in a frozen Maryland account.”I didn’t want this person to take the money out,” Constantino said.Constantino said she believes she has successfully closed the other accounts, and so far, she has seen no signs of this impacting her credit.”I feel like knowledge is power and you can’t deal with something unless you know where to begin,” Constantino said.Constantino also froze all of her credit reports to stop anyone else from opening accounts in her name.

A Baltimore County woman who became a victim of identity theft linked to unemployment fraud hopes her story will help others.

Maryland and other states announced last month a multimillion-dollar unemployment fraud and identity theft investigation.

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Julie Constantino, of Reisterstown, wants the unemployment funds to go to someone who needs the money, not a person who may be trying to steal it. She thinks the process is on the right path.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” she said. “You don’t know where to turn.”

Someone using Constantino’s name and identity information opened accounts at several banks without her permission. One bank sent personal checks, and Constantino realized $5,700 in unemployment benefits from the state of Arizona had been deposited in another account. An investigation is underway.

“I’m very confident it will be taken care of,” Constantino said.

In July, not sure what to do, Constantino reached out to 11 News, which contacted the attorneys general in Maryland and Arizona. Constantino filed a complaint in Maryland and received this emailed response: “If the claim was filed through the state of Arizona, you will have to contact that state.”

Constantino then filed a complaint with the Arizona attorney general. She received this message: “After recent discussions with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, it has been determined they will be handling this type of complaint.”

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office also gave some instructions, including: “Please destroy any card received. It is not necessary to keep any paperwork as evidence.”

Constantino said, for her protection, she’s keeping everything.

“I feel relieved. I honestly feel I’ve been put in the right place with the right people and they are going to get their money back,” Constantino said.

The Arizona funds remain in a frozen Maryland account.

“I didn’t want this person to take the money out,” Constantino said.

Constantino said she believes she has successfully closed the other accounts, and so far, she has seen no signs of this impacting her credit.

“I feel like knowledge is power and you can’t deal with something unless you know where to begin,” Constantino said.

Constantino also froze all of her credit reports to stop anyone else from opening accounts in her name.

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