As you may have heard, there has been a spike in cases of identity theft, particularly in fraudulent unemployment claims. In fact, both Ken’s and Ellen’s identities were stolen to create false Unemployment Compensation claims, and they’re not alone—it’s been reported that both Ohio’s Governor and Lieutenant Governor have also had claims filed in their names.
Be on the lookout for these signs your identity may have been stolen:
- You receive a Form 1099-G from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) showing that you received unemployment benefits that you did not apply for
- You receive unexpected mail from ODJFS, such as a notice about a claim, a PIN, or the Ohio Means Jobs website
- You receive an unexpected U.S. Bank ReliaCard in the mail
If you believe your identity has been stolen to apply for Ohio Unemployment Compensation, it is urgent that you report the fraud to ODJFS immediately. The fastest way to report an incident is at https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/IdentityTheft/.
The Department of Taxation (ODT) has warned that “victims of identity theft … could potentially pay federal and state tax on that unreceived benefit if they don’t act to correct the record,” saying:
Unemployment benefits are taxable and the IRS is notified when someone receives benefits. Victims of unemployment fraud who’ve received an unwarranted 1099-G are being advised to contact ODJFS, report the fraud, and ask for a corrected 1099-G.
ODJFS will then contact the IRS and correct the record so the victim of fraud will not incur a tax liability.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued guidance to taxpayers regarding identity theft and ODT is advising fraud victims that they do not need to have a determination from ODJFS on their ID theft claim or a corrected 1099-G to file your federal and state income tax returns.
Taxation officials say fraud victims generally don’t need to report the unreceived unemployment benefit on their tax return but need to pursue a corrected 1099-G from ODJFS after returns are filed to avoid a future tax bill from the IRS or ODT.
For additional information or guidance, contact:
- ODJFS at (833) 658-0394, or at https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/, and click on the red ‘Report Identity Theft’ button
- The IRS at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-offers-guidance-to-taxpayers-on-identity-theft-involving-unemployment-benefits
- Or ODT at https://tax.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/tax/help-center/resources/1099g