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New W-2 Phishing Scam

There is a newer, highly successfully, W-2 phishing scam that has been going around. The IRS urges employers to educate their payroll personnel about this scam because it ended up fooling thousands of employees and hundreds of businesses last year. The general goal of the scam is to trick payroll personnel, or people with access to the payroll records, into giving out the personal information of the employees of the organization. The IRS reported that the scam affected all types of organizations including public schools, hospitals, universities, charities, and tribal governments.

The fraudsters will find out who the executives are in the organization then send an email to the payroll personnel requesting copies of all the employees W-2’s, the emails appear to be coming from the executives in the company. The W-2 contains the information criminals need in order to file a fraudulent tax return or sell the information on the dark web. Also be aware that the fraudster may start the conversation out with some light banter before they get into asking for the sensitive information of the employees.

Businesses that receive this type of email but don’t fall victim to it should report it to phishing@irs.gov. If your business does become a victim and W-2’s were sent out, you should email dataloss@irs.gov.

Please consult your tax advisor on all the above issues.

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