Surprise tax forms reveal extent of unemployment fraud in US

Unemployment agencies across the country were bombarded with so many claims during the pandemic that many struggled to distinguish the correct from the criminal.

Posted: Feb 5, 2021 8:32 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Unemployment agencies across the country were bombarded with so many claims during the pandemic that many struggled to distinguish the correct from the criminal.

Simple tax forms — barely enough to fill a half-sheet of paper — are now revealing the extent of the identity theft that made state-run unemployment offices lucrative targets for fraud after millions of people lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Terri Finneman of Lawrence, Kansas, was surprised when she got a form saying she owed taxes on $1,500 in unemployment payments that she never received.

In Ohio, the governor and the lieutenant governor also learned that fraudulent claims had been filed in their names.

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