Everyone in Michigan should keep a close eye on incoming mail over the next couple of weeks. The state is beginning to send out forms related to unemployment benefits.  This may be particularly important for you if you did not file for, or receive unemployment benefits. If you did not file for benefits, but receive a Form 1099 from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency there is a strong likelihood that you’ve been the victim of identity theft.

The state is opening up a bit more the last two months about the massive fraud perpetrated on the state as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak and hundreds of thousands of people being laid off. The crunch of unemployment benefit filings helped thieves worm their way into the mix and take off with as much as $1billion in fraudulent claims. Some political leaders in Michigan say the state failed miserably with its lackadaisical control efforts. But that’s for another day.

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The bottom line is this. If you did not file for benefits or receive them and are sent a 1099-G form by the Michigan Unemployment Benefit Agency, that is your tip-off that someone fraudulently obtained your personal information and then used that data to file for benefits and directed the money to themselves. We know what your first reaction will be upon getting the notification. Your second should be to immediately get in touch with the state UIA. There are a number of steps recommended for you to follow if your identity was stolen by someone so they could get benefits under your name. One of those is to file a Statement of Identity Theft (Form 6349).

The detailed state fraudulent claim instructions are located here.

You would also do well to review all financial accounts and consider with your banking institution whether additional actions need to be taken. If you are unable to complete an online complaint, you can call the toll-free Consumer Protection hotline at 877-765-8388. State workers at that number will send you a hard copy form to complete and mail back in.

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