JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Tax season started February 12, and scammers are taking advantage of tax payers.

In the latest COVID-19-related scams, the scammers have used their identities to make unemployment claims. Their victims received 1099-G forms in the mail showing they owe tax money on the unemployment compensation from 2020 they didn’t get.

“We see especially now a lot of people out of work because of COVID. We see COVID schemes where individuals are trying to gain access to tax payer information to steal their economic impact payments,” said Demetrius Hardeman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge at IRS Criminal Investigation in Atlanta.

By getting a revised 1099-G and taking necessary steps in case of identity theft, you can avoid an unexpected tax bill.

“Once someone has access to your name or social security number, they can file tax returns on your behalf and fraudulently take your refund.”

Tax fraud could be rising along with COVID-19 scams in the 2021 tax year, so experts advise to file your taxes as soon as possible.