Local woman falls victim to unemployment fraud

Local News

DANIELS, WV (WVNS) — Jeanie Bowman has been self employed for more than 20 years. So, she was confused one day when she opened her mailbox to find a tax document.

“I open my mail and I got a 1099 and we’re self employed, so I’m very familiar with tax forms and things like that. Is it stimulus? What’s going on,” Bowman explained.

She received a 1099-G, a tax form for unemployment benefits. Bowman said she never received any unemployment benefits. So, she was shocked to see a document that said she received almost $7,000 in 2020.

Bowman immediately called her accountant and learned she was not the only one.

“When I first talked to her, she said I already had two. It was quick. When I talked to her again, she already had six,” Bowman said.

Now, Bowman worries her information is compromised.

“Somebody got my name, my address, my social. They had it all. I just don’t even know how you go about something like that,” Bowman said.

The IRS warns of these scams during tax season, especially since a record number of people filed for unemployment in 2020.

The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office said if you believe you received these documents by mistake, your information was most likely compromised. You should immediately contact Workforce West Virginia and file a report with your local police department or sheriff’s office for unemployment fraud.

Bowman said she hopes telling her story will make others aware.

“I don’t want people to get a 1099 and it says turn it in with your taxes and they think it’s stimulus, or they think it had something to do with something and they just turn it in and they pay taxes on something they did not receive,” Bowman said.

The number you can call to report this fraud is 800-252-JOBS and pick option 5. If you received an out of state document, you should contact that particular state’s unemployment office.

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