Scam Alert-Email Phishing

March 30, 2016

The Department of Revenue has recently been made aware of a new phishing scam being conducted by criminals. This particular phishing scheme is known as email "spoofing" and is similar to the call "spoofing" that several state agencies have recently faced. Criminals are posing as company executives, sending out emails in the executive's names, and asking the company's Human Resources or payroll departments for employee's W-2 files. The criminals are then using this information to file fraudulent tax returns.

The following are some of the details contained in the e-mails:

  • 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 has reported a 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents so far this tax season. The Suspicious Filer Exchange (SFE) and States are teaming up to communicate these breaches to each other in order to prevent the compromised information from being used to file returns. "These criminals are using an identity that employees may be familiar with, such as a CEO, in order to obtain W-2 information. They are then using this information to file fraudulent returns." said Josh Waites Director of the Department of Revenue's Office of Special Investigations, "Fortunately, in addition to having an open line of communication with the SFE and other States, we also have new fraud prevention measures in place that will keep any of this fraudulent money from going out."

If you are concerned that your company's W-2 information has been compromised, please notify the Department of Revenue's Office of Special Investigations as soon as possible by dialing 1-877-423-6711, and selecting option #3.    

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Related Files: 
PDF icon Phishing.pdf (40 KB)