WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office recently received reports of identity fraud and theft from 11 local citizens, ranging in age from 46 to 87.
Some residents reported they received letters purported to be from the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS) — stating erroneously that the complainants had received unemployment benefits — and other locals reported that their identities had been stolen in some manner.
The ODJFS announced Tuesday that it has established a new toll-free number for individuals to notify the agency if they believe their personal information was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim: (833) 658-0394.
This number “is staffed by 50 dedicated, cross-trained customer service representatives” 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the ODJFS stated in a news release.
One way victims have been discovering identity theft is by receiving an IRS 1099-G form for unemployment benefits that were never received.
If you believe your identity has been stolen, report it to your local law enforcement agency.
If you believe you have received a fraudulent letter from the ODJFS, call their fraud hotline at the abovementioned number or go online to https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov .
The phone number complements a secure online portal ODJFS established last month to provide a direct way for victims to report identity theft.
Individuals who believe their identity was stolen and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim can visit unemployment.ohio.gov, click on the “Report Identity Theft” button and follow the guidance for individuals. This includes three steps: 1. Complete the reporting form, 2. File your taxes with IRS guidance, and 3. Protect your identity.
“Identity theft is a widespread national challenge,” the ODJFS stated. “Many Ohioans have become victims, and their identities used to file fraudulent unemployment claims in both the traditional unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs.
“Last month, ODJFS issued 1.7 million 1099-G tax forms to individuals in whose names unemployment benefits were paid in 2020. Many of those individuals were never paid unemployment benefits and did not know their identity had been compromised until they received a 1099-G form.”
WILMINGTON — The following information comes from incident reports provided by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). All those arrested are presumed innocent until possibly found guilty in court.
The sheriff’s office recently processed these reports:
• Deputies arrested two males from Wisconsin — ages 21 and 23 — for allegedly receiving stolen property at 12:44 p.m. on Jan. 29 at State Route 134 South in Martinsville/Clark Township. Deputies recovered a silver 2007 Saturn Ion that was reported stolen.
• Deputies arrested a 29-year-old Clarksville man for allegedly receiving stolen property at 1:39 p.m. on Jan. 31 around Spring Hill Road and Cobble Stone Lane in Clarksville. According to the report, deputies recovered a red and black 2003 Ford F-150 which was stolen from a 72-year-old Amelia male. Deputies collected the key to the vehicle and a marijuana grinder.
• At 9:23 p.m. on Jan. 30, deputies were dispatched to a residence on State Route 73 in Green Township on a domestic violence report. An adult female was listed as the victim. The report indicates the suspect is one of the victim’s parents.
• At 8:20 p.m. on Jan. 29, a 64-year-old Midland male reported someone entered the detached garage on Frazier Road and stole multiple items between the reporting date and Jan. 19. The report lists the following as stolen items: two tool kits, a tote containing a car stereo and speakers, miscellaneous hand tools, a battery jump starter, a 32-inch television, and a broken computer and keyboard.
• At 6 p.m. on Jan. 27, a 45-year-old Reesville/Richland Township reported someone broke into his property on Jordan Street. Items reported stolen included two firearms and miscellaneous hand tools in a gray toolbox.
• At 4:51 p.m. on Jan. 25, deputies recovered a stolen vehicle on Nance Road in Sabina/Wayne Township. The vehicle belonged to a 37-year-old Wilmington male. A 30-year-old Sabina female was listed as a suspect.
• At 4:14 p.m. on Jan. 29, the clerk at a gas station U.S. 68 North in Liberty Township observed someone strike landscaping and an LED sign and fled the area.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574