IRS Alerts Payroll and HR Professionals to Phishing Scheme Involving W-2s

Internal Revenue Service today issued an alert to payroll and human resources
professionals to beware of an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to
be from company executives and requests personal information on employees.

 The IRS has learned this scheme   part of the surge in phishing emails seen
this year   already has claimed several
victims as payroll and human resources offices mistakenly email payroll data
including Forms

W-2 that contain Social Security numbers and other
personally identifiable information to cybercriminals posing as company

  This is a new
twist on an old scheme using the cover of the tax season and W-2 filings to try
tricking people into sharing personal data. Now the criminals are focusing
their schemes on company payroll departments, 
said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. 
If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees,
check it out before you respond. Everyone has a responsibility to remain
diligent about confirming the identity of people requesting personal
information about employees.

IRS Criminal Investigation already is reviewing several
cases in which people have been tricked into sharing SSNs with what turned out
to be cybercriminals. Criminals using personal information stolen elsewhere
seek to monetize data, including by filing fraudulent tax returns for 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 employee and requests a list of employees and information
including SSNs.

The following are some of the details contained in the

               Kindly send me the individual 2015
W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of

all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.

               Can you send me the updated list
of employees with full details

(Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home
Address, Salary).

               I want you to send me the list of
W-2 copy of employees wage and tax

statement for 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can
send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

The IRS recently renewed a wider consumer alert for
e-mail schemes after seeing an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and
malware incidents so far this tax season and other reports of scams targeting
others in a wider tax community.

 The emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking
these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry,
including tax software companies. The phishing schemes can ask taxpayers about
a wide range of topics. E-mails can seek information related to refunds, filing
status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN

 Go here for more information…..

FYI  this is a repost that  i believe is interest to readers of my blog.