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Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans have had their identity stolen or attempted to be stolen as their names and Social Security numbers and other information were fraudulently used by scammers to claim Ohio unemployment benefits.

Many people are just finding out now that they may be identity theft victims as the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has begun the process of mailing out the 1099 tax forms to presumed recipients of Ohio unemployment benefits in 2020.

In 2020, when a person filed for unemployment, there was typically nothing sent by mail from the State to confirm the status of the application. All correspondence with applicants occurred through email. The payments were usually sent by direct deposit or, if the payment was made via a debit card, easily redirected to another address by the scammer. A 1099 form in the mailbox may be the first “notice” a person finds out anything is wrong.

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