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W-2 Phishing Scams Expanding to Schools, Restaurants, Nonprofits…

03.30.2017 | eVisor

The IRS is warning all employers that the Form W-2 email phishing scam has expanded beyond the business world to other sectors including school districts, hospitals, restaurants, shipping and freight companies, and nonprofits. These scams can result in large-scale theft of sensitive data that can be used to commit various crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns.

Scammers are using various spoofing techniques to disguise emails to appear as if they are from an executive within the organization. The email is sent to an employee in the payroll or human resources departments requesting a list of all employees and their Forms W-2.  This scam is sometimes called a business email compromise (BEC) or business email spoofing (BES).The scammer sometimes follows up with an “executive” email to the payroll or comptroller and asks that a wire transfer also be made to a certain account.

The IRS urges all employers to share information with their payroll, finance, and human resources employees about this scam. Employers should consider creating an internal policy on the distribution of employee W-2 information and conducting wire transfers.

Organizations receiving a W-2 scam email should forward it to phishing@irs.gov and place “W2 Scam” in the subject line.  Those that fall victim to the scam should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3,) operated by the FBI.

Questions? Contact your Berdon advisor. Berdon LLP, New York Accountants