Bears, beets, and bogus unemployment claims?
Not even Jim Halpert — the top prankster (and, depending on who you ask, bully) on NBC’s The Office — would attempt a scam like this. (Though it does come close to that time Jim hired “Asian Jim” to sit in for him at work so that Dwight might question his own maddening reality.)
With The Office taking the No. 1 spot for the most-watched streaming show during 2020’s pandemic (it clocked in with 57.13 billion minutes streamed last year, which equals 1,000 years), we’re not surprised that some fans may have, oh, you know, lost themselves in the show — or in the case of a Michigan man, took on the identity of one of the shows most beloved characters.
The man chose Halpert, the lanky love interest of Pam, to serve as his potential golden ticket to some fraudulent unemployment benefits.
Someone photoshopped a picture of John Krasinski, aka Jim from The Office, on a Michigan driver’s license to try and fraudulently obtain jobless benefits, acting state UIA Director Liza Estlund Olson told lawmakers this morning. pic.twitter.com/ALhZ6HxYyO
— Jonathan Oosting (@jonathanoosting) March 11, 2021
As confirmed by the Unemployment Insurance Agency on Thursday, a fake ID was submitted to Michigan’s unemployment department by a man who curiously swapped their ID photo for a photo of Halpert in an effort to attempt to fraudulently gain unemployment benefits.
OK — so it is unclear how photoshopping a photo of a fictional character onto a driver’s license would actually fool anyone, or why it would work, especially if the document contained the man’s real name, address, and other personal information. But, hey, we get it. Since the start of the pandemic, the Michigan unemployment system has been rife with issues for millions of people seeking benefits.
— Mark S. Michaels (@TheMarkShannon) March 11, 2021
But someone at the Unemployment Insurance Agency, likely a fan and/or non-rock dweller, caught the face swap, thus thwarting this man’s humble effort to do whatever it was he was trying to do. Plus, as one Twitter user noted of the ID image, which surfaced online: “Nobody who looks like that in the entire city of Inkster.”
*Looks at camera and raises eyebrows*
— Pauly Smilez (@We_Are_SSD) March 11, 2021
Better luck next time, Husayn. Maybe start small with a stapler in the Jello bit.
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