Thousands of Florida unemployment accounts will be updated after ‘force reset’

Department working with News 6 to update Connect accounts as quickly as possible

News 6 has already prepared and submitted 500 names and claimant numbers to the Department of Economic Opportunity in a sweeping effort to review and reset unemployment accounts following the Aug. 4 force reset that locked an estimated 58,000 accounts.

Andrew Nixon, assistant communications director for the DEO, said the department’s IT team is aware of the reset problem and is working to update thousands of the accounts.

Nixon said the department is working as quickly as possible to update and reset accounts as information is reviewed and account holders are contacted.

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News 6 anticipates sending another 500 names or more each day until the issue is resolved or requests for assistance ends.

State Sen. Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) on Tuesday said the DEO is “finalizing messaging to the impacted claimants.”

Stewart said an email message will include instructions on how to reset the PIN.

Last week DEO Communications Chief Emilie Oglesby explained the PIN reset strategy was launched to counter cyber-thieves who had targeted 58,000 Connect accounts between April and July.

“In an abundance of caution, the department completed a force reset for PIN numbers for the individuals who were impacted by the data breach,” Oglesby said.

Some observers feel the number impacted may exceed the 58,000 sighted by the department.

Vontia Mann, an unemployed restaurant worker and grandmother, said there was no email warning just the message in her account: “Your account has reached the maximum number of failed log-in attempts and has been temporarily locked.”

“As soon as I put my password and social security number in it popped up,” Mann said, “I can sit here and count, I called the DEO at least 37 times, 37 times!”

Security has been tightened with the introduction of identity verification company

The attempted hacks were blocked by the DEO’s Fraud Initiative Rating and Rules Engine.

If your PIN needs to be reset send your name, claimant number or last four digits of your social security number to or text Make Ends Meet to 407-676-7428.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.