Multiple ‘duplicate’ ID.ME accounts continue to block Florida unemployment benefits

Central Florida woman ‘can’t explain’ accounts linked to her identity

Maxxi Brooks has never applied for identity verification with ID.me. When she discovered two duplicate accounts already established with her identity, she panicked.

“I can’t even get into the system,” she said. “I’ve missed a complete whole month of making my claims because I can’t ever get past ID.me

Each message reads the same: “It appears you have already verified your identity on a different account.”

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In Brooks’s case, one duplicate ID.me account used a full Gmail address starting with a letter and ending with the number nine.

The second bogus email started with a number and ended with a number but never included a standard email address. Still, someone was able to open the account shutting her out of badly needed benefits.

Brooks said she had no theories for the bogus accounts except for a hacked bank account last year that cost her $1,000.

This year she said potential employers have asked for copies of her identity and social security card which might create an opportunity for imposters trying to open duplicate ID.me accounts with her name.

“I do the best I can,” she said. ”I’ve been putting in applications, I have proof I’ve been searching for work but I keep getting denied.”

Brooks said she lost her job with a McDonald’s franchise in 2018, then attended classes for certification in the hospitality industry and then earned a Commercial Driver License.

Make Ends Meet contacted ID.me and the company was able to delete the bogus accounts and “reinstated” Brooks’ original email.

If you have an unemployment issue, email makeendsmeet@wkmg.com or text Make Ends Meet to 407-676-7428.

To report unemployment fraud, visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center.


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.