The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies, and the tax industry have renewed their warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer's name to request employee W-2s from company payroll or human resources departments.
According to the IRS, the email scam is making its way across the nation for a second time. The IRS urges company payroll employees to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of W-2s or Social Security numbers (SSNs).
When the W-2 scam appeared last year for the first time, cybercriminals tricked payroll and human resource officials into disclosing employee names, SSNs, and income information. The thieves then attempted to file fraudulent tax returns for tax refunds.
This phishing variation is known as a "spoofing" email. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the "CEO" sends an email to a company payroll office or human resource employee and requests certain information.