Unemployment Fraud Strikes Again
I got three pieces of mail from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue today.
Contrary to popular belief, every piece of mail you get from the state's Department of Revenue doesn't necessarily mean bad news. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the state had written me back about my unemployment fraud case that I first reported on back in February. I had never been unemployed in my life (knock on wood), but I had received a letter in the mail that someone had claimed over $3,000 in unemployment using my identity.
It's far from uncommon. When I contacted the police department, they told me that they have seen a big uptick in this type of identity theft. A recent report on CNBC said it's a $63 billion dollar business right now. Scammers are defrauding the government using stolen personal data of people who didn't file (like me).
The first piece of mail I opened was the Department of Revenue issuing me an updated 1099-G clarifying that I did not receive any unemployment assistance. It was a breath of fresh air. I wasn't sure if I was going to hear back from the government before I filed my taxes, and I wasn't sure how to handle it. Looking back, they responded in less than 30 days. Quite impressive, I'd say.
My smile didn't last long. The next two envelopes indicated that someone was trying to do it again a couple of weeks ago. I had to go online and file another fraud report.
I'm becoming a seasoned pro at this. I knew just how to access the fraud form. It's right here in case you need it.
I called the attorney general's office. There's really not much you can do unless you are willing to unplug your life from the internet. My advice, though, is to absolutely fill out the fraud form. Those scammers are working overtime.