Identity thieves targeting unemployment benefits

SAFFORD — A new scam has hit the Gila Valley — identity theft to secure unemployment benefits.

An employee of P.H.I air ambulance was notified by his employer they had received an unemployment insurance claim in his name. He immediately filed a report with Safford Police Department.

Arizona Department of Revenue is recommending anyone who receives a Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits that were not received to immediately contact the Arizona Department of Economic Security for a corrected form.

“States across the nation have seen a significant surge in unemployment benefit fraud, largely in association with identity theft. There has not been a breach of information stored by DES. Rather, criminals are using phishing scams, previous corporate data breaches and other tactics to collect information from individuals across the country and file for UI and PUA benefits in their name,” ADOR wrote in announcing how to get the correct information for tax-filing purposes.

The IRS advises that taxpayers who cannot obtain a timely, corrected form should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income they received.