Kentucky's state seal on the outside of the Kentucky Career Center in downtown Louisville. (WDRB photo) 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) on Friday announced that it was stopping all claimants from making changes to their bank account information on file with the agency.

According to a news release from OUI, the change was made "in an effort to protect unemployment insurance claimants from fraud." 

"The move comes after OUI was made aware of claimants reporting unauthorized changes to their bank accounts in recent days," the news release says. "OUI is verifying these reports and will notify any affected claimants as appropriate." 

The agency will not comment on details about how individual claimants may be affected due to confidentiality laws. 

No security breach has occurred to OUI security systems or IT infrastructure related to these reports, according to the news release. 

"The agency believes these instances are isolated, rather than systemic, instances of fraud, and is the next wave of fraudulent activity hitting UI systems nationwide," OUI said in its news release. 

"In this newest form, the fraudulent activity occurs when criminals exploit unsophisticated PIN numbers (e.g. '1111' or '1234') created by claimants, used in conjunction with publicly available information obtained from other sources on the Internet."

Moving forward, OUI said it will require new and existing claimants to create more complex PIN numbers. Additionally, all new unemployment claimants will be paid only by paper check. 

"Every UI claimant receiving direct deposits from OUI should log into their account immediately and check their payment method on file," OUI said in its news release. "If it appears incorrect, they should opt to receive future payments via paper check." 

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