Protect yourself from W-2 phishing scams

by Terry Sheridan, Accounting Web

Beware of resurgence in this type of phishing scam. Last year’s Form W-2 sham that victimized hundreds of organizations and thousands of employees is predicted to be one of this year’s most onerous problems, according to the IRS and its partners in the Security Summit.

The IRS said that reports about the scam to its email address numbered about 900 in 2017 — up sharply from roughly 100 in 2016. The fraudsters tricked payroll employees into revealing sensitive information about the entire company.

How did they do it? The crooks figure out who the big bosses are and use business email to pose as those executives in emails sent to payroll employees, asking for copies of Forms W-2 for all employees. The forms, of course, include employee names, addresses, Social Security numbers, incomes and withholdings.

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