COLORADO SPRINGS — As we continue our coverage of the unemployment fraud crisis going in Colorado and in states across the country, News5 has a warning about a tax form you may receive tied to a fake unemployment claim made in your name.
Many of our viewers have reached out to News5 after learning they were targeted by fake unemployment claims. The University of Colorado system warned its employees this type of fraud may be impacting as many as 400,000 people here in Colorado.
Here's something new to watch out for. Some of our viewers may be receiving tax forms tied to those fake unemployment claims.
The 1099 tax forms are issued as part of the fraudulent unemployment claims. These forms are asking people to pay taxes on those unemployment benefits they never collected or even applied for.
The good news is this can all be avoided if a fraud claim is filed with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
News5 viewer and Pueblo area resident Rick Spinuzzi says he was concerned when he got a fake unemployment claim in the mail, but with the help of News5 he was able to protect himself.
"My first thought when I opened up that first letter giving me my pin number was Patrick just talked about this exact thing two days ago. Having seen your show, your article, I was able to have the steps laid out to me clearly on what I needed to do," said Spinuzzi.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, in just the first week of January, of the 41,000 unemployment claims in our state, 16,000 appear to be fake. Since the pandemic began, the state estimates it has paid out nearly $10 million in fraudulent unemployment claims.
If you've received one of those fake unemployment claims in your name and haven't yet reported it as fraud it's important to act now. It could save you some major headaches later on.
Here are some links that can help you take action to protect yourself from the impacts of unemployment fraud...
Here is a link provided by the State of Colorado to help anyone who has received this unexpected piece of mail: https://cdle.colorado.gov/fraud-prevention
Some people may also be getting unexpected tax forms tied to the unemployment fraud. Here's where you can report that: https://co.tfaforms.net/f/Report_Invalid_1099
More information on tax form issues: https://cdle.colorado.gov/tax-form-1099-g
For previous coverage of this story: https://www.koaa.com/news/news5-investigates/major-problem-in-colorado-criminals-try-to-claim-unemployment-benefits-in-your-name