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https://pua.unemployment.ohio.gov/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX : Coronavirus Ohio Unemployment Benefits Help | ODJFS


Published on Oct 08, 2021

https://pua.unemployment.ohio.gov/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX : Coronavirus Ohio Unemployment Benefits Help | ODJFS

 

https://pua.unemployment.ohio.gov/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX : Amid a surge of fraudulent unemployment claims and identity theft cases, the Department of Job and Family Services has established a new toll-free hotline for victims to file fraud claims.

The state's unemployment agency has established a new toll-free hotline in response to the large numbers of victims of unemployment identity theft trying to file a fraud claim.




https://pua.unemployment.ohio.gov/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX : Live Updates

"The phone number complements a secure online portal ODJFS established last month to provide a direct way for victims to report identity theft. Individuals who believe their identity was stolen and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim can visit unemployment.ohio.gov, click on the “Report Identity Theft” button and follow the guidance for individuals. This includes three steps: 1. Complete the reporting form, 2. File your taxes with IRS guidance, and 3. Protect your identity," the agency said.

"Identity theft is a widespread national challenge. Many Ohioans have become victims, and their identities used to file fraudulent unemployment claims in both the traditional unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs," the agency said.

Last month, ODJFS issued 1.7 million 1099-G tax forms to individuals in whose names unemployment benefits were paid in 2020. Many of those individuals were never paid unemployment benefits and did not know their identity had been compromised until they received a 1099-G form.

A lot of Ohioans are just now finding out that they’ve become the victim of identify theft, as they get a 1099 tax form from ODJFS for jobless benefits dishonestly filed for in their name, said ODJFS spokesman Tom Betti.

Scammers employ a variety of techniques to obtain people’s identities and exploit them to wrongly get unemployment benefits, Betti said. In rare cases, he said, thieves even file for benefits using the identities of dead Ohioans, so they can snatch debit cards sent to the mailboxes of the deceased.

Anyone who finds that their name has been used to obtain unemployment benefits should take three steps, Betti said.

ODJFS also has a fraud phone line (1-800-686-1555), though when a reporter called Tuesday afternoon, a recording said the wait time to speak with someone was about half an hour. Another caller said that when she called, another recording said to call back later.

Second, Betti continued, victims should file their taxes as they normally would, without factoring in the scam – though they should follow up with ODJFS if they don’t get a corrected 1099.

Finally, Betti said, Ohioans who are scammed should take steps to protect their identity, including those listed on the Ohio attorney general’s website. People who want to see whether they’ve been victimized can receive a free credit report online, he said.


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