IRS warns of W-2 scam targeting HR and payroll departments

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The IRS and state tax agencies have issued a warning for a W-2 email scam targeting employer HR and payroll departments.

Overview – W-2 Email Scam

The IRS and state tax agencies are warning employers about an email scam that is making its way across the nation for a second time. The scam uses a corporate officer’s name, such as the CEO/CFO, to request employee Forms W-2 from the company HR or payroll department. Cybercriminals tricked HR and payroll officials into disclosing employee names, SSNs and income information. The IRS is already receiving notifications of related scamming attempts this year.
The IRS is urging company payroll personnel to “double-check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security Numbers.” It is also recommended to never send a Form W-2 or other sensitive information in an unsecured manner or email.

More Information – W-2 Email Spoofing

Cybercriminals are continually using more sophisticated tactics to steal information and impersonate tax payers. The IRS reports last year to be the first that the scam appeared. The “phishing” scam is known as “spoofing” email, wherein the actual name of the company CEO is used to request the W-2 information. Cybercriminals then use the information to file fraudulent tax returns.
For a detailed notice from the IRS, click here.
The IRS reports progress is being made in the fight against identity theft related to tax returns, and continues to ask for tax payer and the business community’s support in this effort.
See IRS article – “Taxes. Security. Together. We all have a role to play in protecting your data.”