Residents who get tax form for unemployment but no benefits may be victims of identity theft

Tax season has arrived, which means Michigan's unemployment agency is issuing relevant forms that beneficiaries will need to fill out when they file their annual income.

However, if someone receives a 1099-G form from the UIA but never received benefits, it likely means they've been the victim of fraud

In a year where conditions for fraud widened amid a frenzy of unemployment filings, it's likely the rate of scamming ballooned in response.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the employment status of many Michiganders and allowed scammers to find new ways to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals," Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "I urge anyone who may be a victim of identity theft to take action and report it immediately. This is also a good time to remind everyone to be cautious about sharing your personal and financial information with others." 

As is the case every year, for those that received unemployment benefits from the state, they'll have to fill out the 1099-G tax form.

The form helps the state track its claimants as well as incidences of fraud. 

In this photo illustration, a person files an application for unemployment benefits on April 16, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Inside the envelope containing a 1099 form will be instructions on what should be done if someone never received benefits and have been victims of identity theft.

"We’ll continue to work to root out the imposter fraud that is impacting so many Michiganders," said UIA Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson. "We urge everyone to follow the guidance on our website and from the Attorney General and IRS on protecting yourself and reporting identity theft." 

Once the unemployment agency has investigated identity theft claims, it will issue an amended 1099 form to those determined to be victims.

People can also report fraud or file a general consumer complaint by contacting the AG"s office. You can either file a complaint online or call 877-765-8388.