“I think [the Illinois Department of Employment Security] is fighting for the right reason, I think they want to deliver great services, and they have a huge passion for helping.”

“I don’t think they understand that the threat vector has changed so significantly.”

“What’s happened because of the pandemic is the fraudster are now realizing that government is a much easier mark than the private sector, and when you’re a fraudster you care about two things.”

“The first one is, ‘Can I pull off the fraud? Can I get access to the funds and will I be able to get the money?’ The second is, ‘Will I get caught?’”

“And unequivocally, you will not get caught.”

“So far, Illinois has lost $1 billion to fraud, at least. Regardless of how you feel, politically, Democrat or Republican, the money that you’re losing could meet all the social program needs that you would ever want for your population.”

“The technology they’re using now is legacy. They’re not on the cloud and they need to rebuild an eligibility determination system using modern technology on the cloud. No more mainframes. No more servers. Do what every private company has done across the country, and migrate onto that type of platform. That’s going to take about three years, but they need to do it.”

“You know you look in the deep web and the dark web and some of these other places, and it tells you how to steal from IDES. There’s no shame with these criminals. These criminals, 70% of which are transnational, will do anything to get this money and they know they’re not going to get caught.”

“What you need to do unfortunately is verify people each time they come in. For example, when you have a bank account and you want to check the balance but you’re not on your iPhone or another personal device, you get a note back saying we don’t recognize this device. We just sent a two-factor authentication, please enter in the number when you get it.”

“The states that are using these solutions are seeing a significant reduction in fraud. Fraud never goes to zero but it certainly shouldn’t be 25% or 35% or 40% using those best commercial practices. And it’s like a million bucks. Not expensive.”

“I’ve often been asked this question, ‘Who do you trust more to handle your money: the government or the private sector?’ I always say the private sector, because they have a much higher incentive to make sure it’s right. People lose their jobs, market caps get destroyed, companies go belly up. The government can keep on printing more money.”

“And a private sector company can’t lose this type of money without losing customers. Instead of working with Bank of America, you may just move to Wells Fargo. Well, what’s your alternative when it’s the state of Illinois? Got to move to a different state.”

“I listened to the Chief Information Officer of the state explain that Illinois has 200 enterprise systems that all need to be updated. None of them are in the cloud, the agencies are only working at 75% of [staff] capacity and that it took 67 days to onboard somebody. Oh and the highest salary they could pay for competitive talent is $120k.”

“They’re just completely uncompetitive. It needs to be centralized; it needs to be one person accountable. You can’t let 200 different agencies do 200 different things, it would be a disaster.”

“It needs leadership; it needs a governor’s leadership. It needs the White House’s leadership to solve this.”

“I really appreciate government. I come from a family of government servants, and I understand their pain right now. But they’re trying to put in a screw with a Phillips, when they need a flat. It just won’t do it.”

“This is not a victimless crime. The individuals whose identities have been misused have probably spent 50 to 60 hours of their life dealing with police reports, talking to the credit bureaus to get their credit frozen and then working with the different revenue departments like the IRS in the state of Illinois to let them know they weren’t the ones who claimed those benefits. A lot of people are busy, they just don’t have that time.”

“And the [national] fraud losses range from $250 billion to $400 billion in the Unemployment Insurance Program.”

“You could have given every person, every human being in the United States of America, $8,000. You could have given everyone that was at the poverty level and below $160,000. That’s how much money blew out at the same time because they were attacking the system, attacking legitimate people.”

“When I was in this hearing [the Illinois House Committee on Cybersecurity] wanted a five-year plan to fix this. They need a five-week plan.”

Haywood Talcove
CEO, LexisNexis Special Services and LexisNexis Risk Solutions Government
Washington, D.C.