BBB: Beware of W-2 form scams during tax season

Posted at 9:20 AM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 11:20:55-05
Better Business Bureau warns of a widespread phishing email this tax season. It's known as the W-2 form scam. BBB's Emily Valla says scammers first use spoofing techniques to disguise an email and make it appear it's from senior-level management. The email goes to an employee in human resources or payroll, and asks them to email a list of all employees and their W-2s.
"If the employee falls for the scam, the scammer will receive everyone's personal information. Name, address, pay and your Social Security number. A recipe for identity theft," Valla said.
Valla says the IRS also sent out a warning about the scam this week.
"Last year, it specifically targeted businesses. This year, the IRS says the scam is hitting school districts, chain restaurants, staffing agencies, nonprofits and tribal organizations. In some versions, the scammers are trying to piggy back the request for information with a wire transfer scheme," Valla said.
BBB says managers and employees can protect themselves from this scam by:
Have a conversation with your office to clarify policy about emailing personal information. If someone asks for that sensitive information, verify with the person, offline, that the request is accurate.
Review the signs of phishing emails and remind your colleagues to never click suspicious links or download unexpected attachments. If you do get this scam, report it to and BBB’s Scam Tracker.