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Warning: If You Get A 1099-G Form, And You've Never Applied For Unemployment, You May Be A Victim Of Fraud

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A heads-up for potential fraud victims this tax season – if you get a 1099-G form in the mail, but you never applied for unemployment benefits, someone else may have in your name.

CBS 2's Tara Molina on Tuesday investigated the next steps you should take. She talked to an expert and asked how the state is preparing to handle such a situation.

Since March 1, the Illinois Department of Employment Security has stopped 962,000 fraudulent unemployment claims, according to the agency's spokeswoman.

What they don't know is how many 1099-G tax forms are about to go out to people who never applied for unemployment benefits.

It's the issue behind a brand-new message just added to the IDES hotline: "If you have received a 1099-G in error press 1. If you have questions about your 1099-G, press 2."

A 1099-G form needs to be filled out when filing taxes if you've gotten money from IDES. But if you haven't, and you get one in the mail, you could be a victim of unemployment fraud.

If you do find yourself in that situation, the first step is to report the fraud by calling that number we just showed you.

IDES also recommends placing alerts with the major credit bureaus.

But an outstanding concern is that with address change forms tied to fraudsters also going out right now, what happens if the IRS gets a 1099-G in your name, but you don't?

"And so when they're waiting for their tax refund, they'll get this notice from the IRS that they have unclaimed income attached to their name that they'll then have to clear," said Michele Evermore of the National Employment Law Project.

Molina had a number of follow-up questions for IDES on this issue and others.

IDES spokeswoman Rebecca Cisco said 1099-G forms have not yet been distributed, and when they are, the department will provide CBS 2 with some more information and answers to our questions.

The IDES also provided an information sheet on 1099-G forms.

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Also From CBS Chicago:

CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.

We'll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.

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