The Internal Revenue Service is asking tax professionals to help clients who fell prey to identity thieves who have been filing unemployment claims in their names during the pandemic.

The IRS has been working with state tax agencies and the tax prep industry as part of an effort known as the Security Summit. They reported that unemployment compensation fraud was one of the more common ID theft schemes that emerged last as criminals exploited the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact. The fraudsters filed claims for the generous expanded unemployment benefits that the federal government began offering last year in conjunction with state unemployment agencies in response to the outbreak of the pandemic. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Inspector General estimated approximately $89 billion in unemployment compensation was lost last year due to fraud. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation programs…

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