Posted by: Heather Shy on February 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm
The email scam we warned you about last year involving W-2 forms is back again. In fact, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says, “This is one of the most dangerous email phishing scams we’ve seen in a long time.”
The scam typically goes like this: An email that looks like it comes from the CEO, CFO or other “big boss” is sent to a lower-level employee, telling them to send the W-2s of all employees.
The “bonus” this year is that scammers are following up the W-2 request with a wire transfer request. Per the IRS, “Some companies have lost both employees’ W-2s and thousands of dollars due to wire transfers. “
Remember that when you receive sudden requests like this, they are very likely spoofed emails. You should double check by picking up the phone and verify that this is a legit request coming from that executive.
Two Simple Steps to Avoid This Email Scam
- Education. Please share this information with your payroll, finance, and HR team.
- Create an internal policy on distributing W-2 forms and wire transfers.
What to Do If You are Targeted
If you receive a W-2 scam email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org with “W2 Scam” in the subject line. Affected employers and companies should also alert state tax agencies by notifying StateAlert@taxadmin.org.
Employees whose W-2s have been stolen should go to www.identitytheft.gov or www.irs.gov/identitytheft.
If your tax return is rejected due to a duplicate Social Security number, file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
This tax season, stay alert for scams like this, and — always — think before you click!