Department of Labor & Industry Warns of Unemployment Fraud ScamsFebruary 18th, 2021
As Tax Filing Season Begins, L&I is Reminding Pennsylvania Unemployment Fraud Victims of Important Next Steps
Harrisburg, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier today is reminding Pennsylvanians who received a 1099-G tax form for unemployment benefits they did not apply for that they are likely the victim of a widespread national unemployment fraud issue and should take the necessary steps to report the fraud and protect their information.
"Today is the first day of the nation's tax filing season, and I want to make sure Pennsylvanians know what to do if they were a victim of unemployment fraud," said Berrier. "Anyone who received a 1099-G tax form for 2020, but did not apply for unemployment benefits, should fill out the fraud form right away. This is a crucial step as it allows L&I to investigate and alert the IRS that corrections to your income are needed."
Incorrect 1099-G Due to Fraud
Because the 1099-G tax forms are automatically generated for all claimants receiving unemployment compensation payments, the receipt of a 1099 form by a person who didn't file for unemployment likely indicates a case of identity fraud. In fact, receiving this tax form may be the only indication some Pennsylvanians have that they are a victim of identity theft and fraud. If this applies to you or someone you know, file a report here.
Once a report is filed, L&I will flag the claim for investigation and notify the IRS of any necessary changes to the 1099-G form. The IRS has indicated that victims of unemployment fraud should file their taxes and report real income – in other words, once victims report the fraud, they should ignore the 1099G if they did not receive unemployment payments.
Disputing 1099-Gs for Reasons Not Related to Fraud
Claimants of all unemployment programs offered during 2020 who received payments from L&I should have received a 1099-G tax form detailing their benefit payments. This form is viewable on the online system where claimants file their weekly claims. Additionally, a copy was mailed by the end of January to all claimants.
Any claimants who want to dispute the listed amounts in their 1099-G are reminded to factor in all unemployment payments, including any Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) or Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) payments processed.
Claimants who have questions or concerns about the amount shown on their 1099-G form can contact the Unemployment Compensation Service Center by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (PUA claimants). Questions about the PUA 1099-G can also be submitted using the web form here.
Report Unemployment Fraud
If you are a victim of unemployment fraud – or know of someone who is participating in unemployment fraud – report it:
- Identity theft – if you suspect or know that someone is using your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, or date of birth without your knowledge or consent to file for UC benefits, complete and submit the Identity Theft Form.
Victims of identity theft may also file a report with the Federal Trade Commission and start a recovery plan at https://www.identitytheft.gov/Opens In A New Window.
- Unemployment claims fraud – if you know of individuals who are collecting UC benefits illegally, including people who are working and not reporting their wages for PA UC benefit purposes; or people who cannot work due to an illness, disability or incarceration, complete and submit the Unemployment Claims Fraud Form.
- PA Fraud Hotline – 1-800-692-7469
- File a police report with the municipality you resided in at the time the unemployment benefits in question were paid. A copy of the police report must be provided to the Office of Unemployment Compensation.
For more information on identifying fraud, what to do if you believe you have been a victim of fraud, or how to report fraud, visit L&I's website.