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Unemployed Tennesseans' personal information may be compromised

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For months, the Channel 4 I-Team has been investigating the delays and backlog Tennessee job seekers face when trying to apply for unemployment benefits. Now, we have uncovered a new problem for claimants.

This time, we're talking about those who actually got through to the unemployment system online or the hotline and were approved for benefits.

Despite the headache of just trying to apply for unemployment in Tennessee, the Channel 4 I-Team has discovered that thousands of unemployment recipients' personal information may have been compromised.

More than 6,000 Tennessee unemployment recipients' personal information was improperly viewed. They had received a JPMorgan Chase pre-paid debit card with their benefits already loaded onto the card. But, hackers breached the company's servers, and now, the company says 465,000 customers nationwide could be affected.

The Channel 4 I-Team talked with one Tennessee job seeker who said she was first alerted to the breach when she got an email from Chase.

"I am concerned about it. You work, and it just takes one thing and your credit is gone," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which is in charge of unemployment benefits, says no PIN combinations were viewed and no Social Security numbers were compromised.

And in a statement to Channel 4 News, Chase says: "We have found no evidence that the information was used improperly and we will continue to monitor. As a precaution, we have notified all affected cardholders and offered them two years of free credit monitoring."

Still, that offers little comfort to concerned job seekers who worry about what could happen down the road.

It's important to note Chase says this breach did not affect Chase debit or credit card holders, rather only those who used the corporate and government pre-paid card website from mid-July to mid-September 2013.

Those with one of the pre-paid unemployment cards can continue to use the same card they were issued. Again, Chase has been monitoring the situation and has not yet detected any fraudulent activity. If you do see any suspicious transactions, call the number on the back of your card.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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