Richard Cheek, an unemployed roofer, lost his job a year ago and filed a claim with Georgia’s Department of Labor. Once he was approved, GDOL released his payments. The state has a contract with Conduent Financial Services LLC., which runs the “Way 2 Go” debit card program for unemployment benefits. The cards are mailed to recipients, but require personal information to activate them.
Cheek doesn’t know who obtained his personal information to unlock his unemployment debit card. Police questioned a family member, and identified a second individual, but so far, there has been no arrest. Locust Grove Police confirmed for CBS46 that Cheek is not a suspect.
The individuals who obtained the card and Cheek’s information used it to transfer funds at six Walmart’s throughout metro Atlanta, spending a total of $8,950 before "Way 2 Go’s" fraud unit contacted Mr. Cheek. They issued a new card, but even with a police report; the company denied Cheek's claim. Conduent has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
With no funds left, Cheek moved into a minivan provided by his new employer.
“What’s it like living in a van?” Better Call Harry asked.
“Well I’m 6’4. Ain’t no room in the back, it’s kind of crampy. It’s home but it ain’t home - no refrigerator, no stove,” Cheek replied.
Cheek has tried several times to get "Way 2 Go’s" fraud unit to reopen his case, but they’ve refused.
“They said Mr. Cheek, your case has been closed, we’re not reopening your case no matter what.”
Better Call Harry has asked Conduent to speak with investigators and reopen the case.
Conduent issued a statement that can be read below:
As a proud partner helping the Georgia Department of Labor deliver an unprecedented level of unemployment benefits to Georgia citizens, we take suspected incidents of fraud very seriously, and we closely investigate each one to restore funds or access to funds to rightful recipients as quickly as possible. When reviewing suspected fraud reports, we consider a number of comprehensive factors according to federal and state regulations, including the accuracy, consistency and verifiability of information provided, as well as outcomes of law enforcement investigations. Privacy regulations preclude us from publicly discussing individual accounts, but cardholders with new evidence or who believe errors occurred during the review of their claim can request an additional review by contacting customer service.
We also encourage account holders to safeguard their personal data and change passwords regularly, especially given recent warnings by the federal government about international fraud rings targeting unemployment insurance benefits in many states across the country. In the event of a lost or stolen card or suspected fraud, we encourage cardholders to contact the customer service help desk, which is operator-assisted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-888-929-2460. Cardholders can also access services online at www.GoProgram.com.