The couple tried for months to warn the EDD someone was stealing unemployment benefits. Instead, the EDD kept paying the scam account, and now the couple is saddled with the tax bill.
FRANK REZAC: And you have this big cloud looming over us.
- Frank and Linda Rezac of Brentwood were enjoying a quiet retirement, playing a little golf, touring a few sites. The last thing they expected was to be swept into an unemployment fiasco at the EDD.
LINDA REZAC: We're not enjoying our retirement.
- Their quiet life was disrupted five months ago when, out of the blue, the EDD sent Frank this baffling notice awarding him unemployment benefits, $167 a week.
FRANK REZAC: And I had been retired since 2002.
- Of course, Frank never applied for benefits. He hasn't worked in nearly 20 years. So he wrote back to the EDD.
FRANK REZAC: That's when I says, we have never filed for unemployment, thinking that would solve their problem. And it didn't.
- Instead, he got another notice, this one increasing his benefits.
FRANK REZAC: It says I would get $450 a week, up to 39 weeks of benefits.
- So he alerted EDD again, saying someone must have used his Social Security number to file a fraudulent claim, and could EDD please investigate. No one did. Instead, the EDD sent Frank this debit card so he could cash in those benefits.
LINDA REZAC: They don't respond to what people are telling them.
FRANK REZAC: We just cut the card up.
- They figured that solved the problem. It didn't.
FRANK REZAC: We're going to get slammed on the taxes.
- They just got a 1099 from the EDD saying they owe taxes on the money the scammer claimed, a staggering $25,200.
FRANK REZAC: Tax on that money will probably be $7,000 or $8,000.
LINDA REZAC: And we tried to call all day, every day.
- The couple keeps trying to alert the EDD.
They try again.
- Please leave your name, number, and a brief message.
- They get the same result.
- The message queue is full for the person you have called. You will now be disconnected. Thank you for calling. Goodbye.
LINDA REZAC: That's what happens every time.
- And they're still stuck with a tax bill on 25 grand.
LINDA REZAC: And we never got the $25,000.
- The couple figured the scammer made off with that money. But we suggested they check the EDD account. And a couple of days later--
LINDA REZAC: It was really a shock, but a nice shock.
- --there it was, $25,200 still sitting snug in the account. What's more, bank records show the EDD kept depositing money into the scammer's account long after the couple reported it was a fraud. And EDD still hasn't responded.
LINDA REZAC: We're trying to get EDD to take their money before somebody else does.
- The couple finds themselves guarding the taxpayer money, worried scammers could still try to grab it.
FRANK REZAC: We froze the account so nobody else can use it.
- It's a job they say EDD should be doing.
FRANK REZAC: I'm 80. My wife's 70. We don't need the stress and the hassle.
LINDA REZAC: We're working awfully hard to fix the problem that we never started.
FRANK REZAC: All I want is an amended 1099 showing zero, zero, zero.
LINDA REZAC: And them to take their money.
- [AUDIO OUT]