Tax experts say victims of unemployment fraud should report before filing taxes

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With tax season upon us, many worry the scams will affect tax filing

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many in the Valley have received a letter in the mail that looks like it is from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The letters include a password change request in order to get unemployment benefits, except the recipients never applied for benefits or a password change.

With tax season upon us, many worry that the letters will affect tax filing.

Christin Townsend, the owner of Townsend Tax Network, said getting the letters means someone has tried to collect unemployment benefits in your name or worse, if you receive a 1099 G form in the mail, they have collected in your name.

There is a way to stop it from potentially impacting your tax return.

“You should immediately contact the agency you received the form from because more than likely, it is fraud. Once you contact them, they are going to direct you that you don’t have to include that in your taxes,” Townsend said.

Here are the steps you need to take to report a fraudulent unemployment form:

  • Call the state unemployment office to report it
  • Inform your employer
  • Reach out to each of the three credit report agencies, Equifax, Experian and Transunion to make sure your credit has not been impacted.
  • Keep an eye on your bank and credit accounts

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