It took a growing flood of calls and emails from citizens before the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) came to realize it was dealing with widespread fraud.

As we reported here on our website, in the last few weeks, the number of confirmed fraud cases with the ESD went from about 27 to 700, as for cases paid out. And that number has mushroomed.

King County Sheriff's officials say they alone have had 1,700 fraud reports. We learned, locally, well over 100 Richland School workers have had compromised identity issues, as have many others in our area.

Now, legislators are raising the question: If the state cannot detect or prevent widespread ESD fraud, now are they able to confirm they can protect the data being gathered by the Contact Tracing workers?

Between 1,500 and 2,100 (varies by source) of these workers from the National Guard, Department of Licensing and Health Department are reaching out to confirmed COVID persons, and finding out whom they have had contact with.  By the way, suddenly, state officials are now saying the CT program is "voluntary."--(but that's for another story and topic).

According to Gov. Inslee's last 2-3 press conferences, he has over and over stressed the privacy of these COVID patients, as well as the 'secondary' persons, is going to guaranteed and safeguarded. However, this ESD fraud issue raises doubts.

It is NOT conclusively known if the ESD itself was hacked as part of the Nigerian scheme which the Secret Service is investigating, but the fraud issue raises serious questions.  You may also recall a few years ago during the Obamacare state healthcare exchange launch programs that the databases of many of these exchanges were hacked.

To see his 'pledges' of security from his press conferences, click on the button below. You can go to his video conferences and watch.