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WorkForce WV warns about fraud with unemployment

Unemployment
Unemployment(AP)
Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 10:55 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - WorkForce West Virginia is warning recipients about fraud and identity theft.

The agency has mailed 1099-Gs to nearly 200,000 people who received unemployment benefits last year. This includes those who got state unemployment benefits, pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA), pandemic emergency unemployment compensation (PEUC), federal pandemic unemployment compensation (FPUC), extended benefits (EB) and lost wage assistance (LWA).

While it’s unclear how many fraudulent forms were sent out, at least 950 people have reported erroneous 1099G forms to the state.

WorkForce has hired additional staff to help prevent fraud. There is a new federal requirement for pandemic unemployment assistance. You have to verify self-employment and identity of claimants. Even if a claim was previously approved, each person claiming will be asked to provide additional information.

“It’s unfortunate, but unemployment fraud has been prevalent across the country during the pandemic and fraudsters are out there claiming benefits by using stolen identities,” said WorkForce West Virginia Acting Commissioner Scott A. Adkins. “WorkForce is exhausting every possible avenue to reduce the impact of fraud on innocent West Virginians.”

If you received a 1099-G from WorkForce West Virginia but did not file an unemployment claim, you should report suspected fraud by filing a police report and emailing reportunemploymentfraud@wv.gov. You can also call call 1-800-252-JOBS between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Callers should select option 5 when prompted.

WorkForce West Virginia will not transmit the 1099 data to the IRS until late March.

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