The IRS is warning communities about a new scam circulating around your W-2 form.
They say that criminals are gaining access to W-2’s and other sensitive tax information that employers have about their employees.
The IRS says this scam can put workers at risk for tax-related identity theft, and all employers should educate their employees about the scheme. Employees in human resources and payroll documents are usually the first targets.
Here are five warning signs about the scam:
- The thief poses as a company executive, school official or other leaders in the organization.
- Scam emails often start with a simple greeting. It can be something like, “Hey, you in today?”
- The crook sends an email to an employee with payroll access and requests a list of all employees and their Forms W-2. The thief may even specify the format in which they want the information.
- Thieves use many different subject lines and use words like “review,” “manual review” or “request.” In some cases, the thief may send a follow-up email asking for a wire transfer.
- Because payroll officials believe they are corresponding with an executive, it may take weeks for someone to realize a data theft occurred. Criminals usually try to use the information quickly, sometimes filing fraudulent tax returns within a day or two.
This scam is such a threat that a special IRS reporting process has been set up. If you think you were a victim of this scam click here to find out how to report it.