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How to handle tax forms for unemployment money you never received

You get a tax form in the mail saying you received thousands of dollars in cash, but you never saw a cent and you could be on the hook unless you take action now.

A lot of people filed for unemployment recently, but if you didn’t and a 1099 showed up in your mailbox, you may be the victim of identity theft.

There have been reports in Florida that people have received a 1099 from various states saying they received thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits and owe taxes.

How did this happen?

“Some of the state restrictions or verifications might have been lessened which made the funds go out faster and easier, so some of the checks and balances might not have been in place like they usually are,” said Carrie Kerskie, an expert in identity theft.

With red tape cut to help people get quicker access to the benefits, the scammers quickly moved in. There are reports of billions of dollars being stolen during the pandemic due to identity theft.

If it happened to you, contact the unemployment office and the IRS to file the appropriate paperwork.

And if the identity thieves got you in this scam, they could get you in others. Make sure you get a copy of your credit report to keep an eye on what’s happening with your identity and your finances.

RESOURCES
Identity Theft Recovery Steps
IRS: Guidance to taxpayers on identity theft involving unemployment benefits
FBI Sees Spike in Fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Claims Filed Using Stolen Identities

Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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