Fraudulent unemployment claims rise as tax deadline approaches — What you need to do

Coronavirus

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — Tax season is upon us, and with that — comes an uptick in fraudulent unemployment claims across the country. Local cities and towns are no exception.

“Reports from people saying their Social Security numbers have been used in order to attempt or did gain unemployment benefits using their Social Security number,” said Sgt. Steven Mooney with the Spanish Fort Police Department.

The FBI has dealt with this issue since the pandemic began. In Spanish Fort, victims have been notified this in two ways.

In some cases, HR departments are flagging claims that come through their offices for workers still on the job. In others, people are hearing directly from the IRS.

“I do feel for them. This can be devastating, like I said, some of these people are getting contacted by the IRS saying they owe taxes on this money,” Mooney said.

Even if the claims don’t through, scammers can still use your Social Security number for future thefts. If this happens to you, call and report the fraud to your local law enforcement agency and visit this website.

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