Don’t Send a W-2

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning businesses not to be fooled by an email phishing scam currently making the rounds. The criminal sends emails which appear to come from a company’s owner, asking the payroll or human resources department to send them a list of all the company’s employees and their W-2 forms.

If the criminal receives the forms, they may further ask the employee to wire money to a certain account, to further rob the company. Even if they don’t, having the W-2s gives the criminal every employee’s social security number, which they then exploit.

According to the agency, 200 businesses, public schools, universities and non-profits have been victimized this tax season. One way to protect against the scam is to contact the sender of any suspicious emails by a phone number not listed in their email, or in person, to confirm that they sent it. Anyone who encounters this scam is recommended to report it to the IRS, and contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.