IDES unemployment 1099 tax form recipients could be victims of fraud if they didn't file for benefits

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security said it has caught or stopped nearly 1 million fraud cases since March 2020.

Now they're warning that if you receive a 1099-G form but didn't file for Illinois unemployment benefits, you may be a victim of fraud.

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The 1099 G form is filled out when filing your taxes if you've gotten money from a government agency like IDES.

"These forms are an indication of what income the department has had to report to the IRS," explained the Acting Director of IDES, Kristin Richards.

Richards said people could also get this form if they have been a victim of the unemployment scam, where a fraudster filed for benefits in your name. If you receive it and you didn't file for unemployment, you need to report the fraud.

"Please follow the steps outlined on the form to contact the agency. You can go to the agency's website, view information regarding the 1099 form. You can also call the agency, and a call center agent is going to help you," Richards said.

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But it's important that you'd don't fill out the form.

"If you were a victim of identity theft and for some reason an imposter but has been able to draw benefits in your name. We are going to make sure that you are not held liable for any of those taxes," she said.

IDES told the I-Team that it has recently updated its fraud reporting link on its website. In December the I-Team found that link had been taken down.

"What we know is, given the magnitude of what it is that states are dealing with nationwide, we need to really focus on creating narrow paths for people to really try and help them get to what it is that they're trying to reach us regarding, and so this new reporting forum is intended to really streamline that process for victims," Richards said.

RELATED: Illinois unemployment fraud reporting link on IDES website disappears

The agency has also updated it process for employers to report fraud claims on their end.

Some fraud has been stopped before payment was issued; others stopped after the payment was sent out to the thief.
"We continue to use our data, live data, analytics to determine which claims are and are not fraudulent, Richards said. "Imposters, sadly, can do a very good job of using information that's available to them on the dark web through social media."

If you received a tax form or a letter saying you have gotten benefits and you didn't file, go to the state's website and report on the new fraud link. If you have only received a debit card, you may have to call the agency.

You should also reach out to the three big credit bureaus and place alerts on your accounts.
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