Employers beware of W-2 scams


Now throughout tax season is the time for scammers, hackers and criminals want to rip off W-2 information and have their way with it.

The IRS reports hundreds of 200 employers were victims of the scam ... that means hundreds of thousands of employees had their information compromised. Cyber security and data privacy attorney Shawn Tuma said hackers pose as executives, send a phishing or spoof e-mail to a lower level employee afraid to question an "urgent" e-mail from a CEO or higher up. The e-mail requests copies of employees' W-2 forms

“They take that information and use it to submit fraudulent tax returns to the IRS, in the hopes of getting the employee’s refund checks sent to them,” said Tuma.

Criminals then use that information for fraudulent tax returns or worse. Tuma said companies need to educate their employees.

“Number one, companies can flag on their network whenever external e-mails are coming into the system, and then limit who has access to your companies W-2s and sensitive information,” said Tuma.

He said employers need to know how to respond quickly to minimize the damages once they've been hit.

The IRS has a new process for employers to report scams and W-2 data thefts.


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