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Identities stolen for fake jobless claims

Staff writer

Numerous people in Marion County have reported getting fraudulent unemployment-related information.

Some get a letter from the State of Kansas incorrectly stating that they have filed an unemployment claim. Some have even gotten fraudulent 1099G tax forms money earned from unemployment, which has to be reported on their income tax returns.

Kevin Freuchting of Marion was disturbed about receiving a letter and then getting a 1099G form in January stating unemployment income of more than $1,500.

He used the KDOL website to fill out an online dispute, upload copies of the letter and 1099G form, and submit an affidavit stating he is a victim of fraud and had received no unemployment benefits. He requested a corrected 1099G form stating 0 dollars received.

He also sent all of this information through the mail.

“I will wait to see if they acknowledge it,” he said. “I have to have a corrected 1099G form or there is the potential for the IRS to assume payment.”

He said at least five other people at Tampa State Bank had received fraudulent claims. Many other businesspeople along Marion’s Main St. have been targeted.

Employers may get a letter notifying them of a former employee who filed for unemployment.

That hit close to home Tuesday when the Marion
County Record office received a letter stating that Alex Simone, who terminated his employment here Jan. 12, had filed for unemployment.

When Simone was contacted, he denied filing a claim. He had taken a job at another newspaper. The Record office and Simone filed fraud claims online with the Kansas Department of Labor.

Susie Hett of Marion got a fraudulent letter last fall but didn’t get a 1099G. She said it might be because her social security number is locked at all the credit bureaus — Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. She locked it because she had her identity stolen three years ago. She can unlock it for a time when she needs it.

According to news reports, the problem is widespread across the country but especially prevalent in Kansas and two other states.

Gov. Laura Kelly shut down the unemployment system from Saturday to Tuesday to provide time for installation of anti-fraud technology.

Last modified Feb. 4, 2021

 

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