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Posted on March 12, 2021 by in Business, Identity & Privacy, Personal

Unemployment and Tax Fraud is Skyrocketing

The COVID-19 outbreak and the economic downturn more than tripled the number of unemployed Americans in three months, to 20.5 million by May 2020 — numbers substantially greater than the unemployment rate during the Great Recession. Scammers didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the situation and began filling for unemployment claims, using stolen Personally Identifiable Information (PII) previously exposed in data breaches and sold on the Dark Web.

Now, millions of Americans are discovering 1099-G tax forms for unemployment benefits they never collected — costing taxpayers over $200 billion in fraudulent payments. As the tax deadline approaches, many are unsure how to process their fraudulent claim, and unemployment identity fraud has become the #1 call into IdentityForce’s Certified Resolution Specialists.

Scammers’ Opportunities Are Growing

Since January 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has tracked over $360 million lost to COVID-19 scams, with that number continuously increasing. The third round of coronavirus stimulus checks is now on the way from the IRS, and more scams targeting those payments are brewing. Unemployment and tax fraud may foreshadow even more types of identity theft for its victims, and freezing your credit alone will not address over 80% of identity crimes, leaving you exposed and vulnerable once hackers have your PII. Watch our on-demand 15-minute webinar to uncover the warning signs that may indicate your identity is at risk, and how to reduce the opportunity for hackers to take advantage.

BONUS! On-Demand webinar viewer will gain immediate access to Sontiq’s new tip sheet: 5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Tax Identity Theft.

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