Surprise tax forms reveal extent of unemployment fraud in US

IRS tax forms (Photo: MGN Online)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Unemployment agencies across the country were bombarded with so many claims during the pandemic that many struggled to distinguish the correct from the criminal.

Simple tax forms — barely enough to fill a half-sheet of paper — are now revealing the extent of the identity theft that made state-run unemployment offices lucrative targets for fraud after millions of people lost their jobs during the pandemic.

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Terri Finneman of Lawrence, Kansas, was surprised when she got a form saying she owed taxes on $1,500 in unemployment payments that she never received.

In Ohio, the governor and lieutenant governor also learned that fraudulent claims had been filed in their names.