W-2 Phishing Scams Increase During Tax Season

It is tax season and every year we have an increase in cyber-crime regarding tax fraud.

W-2 phishing scams peak during tax season.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, received more than 1,800 complaints about these types of scams between 2016 and 2018.

They generally work like this:

A criminal or organized crime group claiming to be a company’s CEO sends an e-mail to the human resource department.

The e-mail is a request for the personally identifiable information of employees in preparation for tax season or an upcoming audit.

The targeted recipient thinks the request is legitimate and unknowingly responds by sending all employee data to this fraudulent source. At this point, all employee data can be compromised.

Businesses should verify all requests for employee data. Advice given by the FBI suggests having a specific PIN code that only the CEO or high-level executive has access to and you have to verify the particular transfer off-channel—meaning picking up the phone and calling rather than through e-mail or some other electronic means.

FBI’s reported story.

Report these scams at www.ic3.gov.

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