West Carrollton city employees among unemployment fraud victims

The city of West Carrollton announced Friday that city employees and residents are among the victims of unemployment fraud.

“We’ve received fraudulent claims for seven current employees and one former employee,” city Human Resources Manager Teresa Brooks stated in a release.

Unemployment benefit claims fraud has been seen across the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brooks said the employees affected have been alerted and that they have provided guidance on the process to report the fraud.

The city also reported the fraudulent claims to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

“These scams are out there with a vengeance and we want everyone to be vigilant in protecting their identity,” Brooks said.

The Ohio JFS in January sent 1099-G tax forms to 1.7 million Ohioans so they can report their jobless benefits on their income tax returns. JFS spokesman Tom Betti said earlier that the department is expecting tens of thousands of those forms to have been the result of fraud.

Ohioans are asked to report these instances of identity theft at a new online portal: https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ Steps to take after it happens are listed on the webpage.

State officials also recommend that Ohioans check their credit reports to see if they are victims of identity theft at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action.

Identity theft is a widespread problem. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office offers tips on how to protect against it, and address it once it has happened at https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/IdentityTheft.

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