IDEMIA, the global leader in augmented identity, and the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) today announced the state of Oklahoma has launched a new Identity Proofing & Verification solution (ID&V), to prevent fraud and process unemployment benefits faster and more securely. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, states have seen nearly $26 billion in unemployment fraud and spent several million more investigating cybercriminals. This technology was deployed to mitigate fraud and ensure that claimants can receive benefits with ease.OESC's VerifyOK service is based on IDEMIA's ID&V, a digital identity verification tool that validates an identification document against authoritative government data, such as state driver's license systems of record, to achieve a high level of assurance that unemployment applicants are truly who they say they are. Any citizen with a state-issued driver's license, identification card or U.S. passport can use the online system. All they have to do is submit an image of their ID document and a photo of themselves, and IDEMIA's system will automatically verify the credentials against the DMV record. Once verified, applicants can continue through the unemployment claim process."Unemployment fraud is at an all-time high, and due to the pandemic, state systems are stressed with high volumes of applicants," said Matt Thompson, SVP, Identity Solutions of IDEMIA. "With our ID&V and Mobile ID solutions, we are empowering states to process claims more efficiently and distribute benefits faster while reducing fraud. Applicants can complete transactions online, reducing the need for in-person office visits or manual processing of identity documents."Currently, applicants for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are required to complete the new identity verification process when they file a claim and must re-certify every 90 days. More than 70,000 applicants have already been processed. In 2021, VerifyOK will be required for all unemployment claims."In Oklahoma, we felt the effects of pandemic-related job losses very seriously, with over 850,000 people applying for unemployment benefits. We were looking for a solution that would help us deliver the support our residents needed and effectively lock out cybercriminals. IDEMIA's Identity Verification solution delivers because of the biometric verification that works directly with our existing record system," said Shelley Zumwalt, Executive Director at Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. "With ID&V we expect to deliver benefits faster and protect our citizens and our state against identity fraud and theft."To verify their identity during the unemployment benefit applications, claimants are asked to upload a photo of their driver's license, ID, or passport, along with a selfie. Applicants are provided with guidance on how to take a usable photo of their ID and selfie during the process to ensure that their photos will work.