IRS Alert: W-2 Phishing Scam Growing

hacker typing on a laptop with binary code in backgroundW-2 phishing scammers are no longer targeting only for-profit corporations. In a recent alert, the IRS warns all HR and payroll professionals to be wary of fraudsters posing as a top executive in their organization and requesting W-2 information for all employees. Unfortunately, the scam has now spread to not-for-profit organizations, including school districts such as our local Davidson County Schools.

If you receive an email with some of the following requests, you may be a target for these scammers:

  • “Kindly send me the individual 2016 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.”
  • “Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary)?”
  • “I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.”

Once the scammers have tricked the company’s payroll or human resources departments into releasing the information, they can use the information to file fraudulent tax returns to obtain bogus tax refunds. The IRS urges company payroll officials to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security number similar to the above.


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