FBI and IRS Alert: W2 Phishing Scams

Tax season is upon us, but procrastinators and tax consultants aren’t the only people who are busy this time of year.  More and more, this is a busy season for criminals who want to cash in on your tax return.

An increasingly popular technique is to spoof a CEO’s email to steal a company’s employee’s W2 information.  The spoofs are getting so good that one cybersecurity firm, Defense Point Security, recently fell victim to it.

The way it usually works is that someone in HR or an accountant or whatever the proper position would be receives an email that, at a glance, looks like it comes from a higher up, often a CEO.  That email requests the W2’s for all of their employees.  The accountant complies, unwittingly sending all of that sensitive information to a thief.  The thief then turns around and either files fraudulent tax returns and collects that money, or they sell the information on the internet black market.

This kind of theft is on the rise, prompting both the FBI and the IRS to release a warning recently.

The best way to fight this sort of scam is to have your employees go through security awareness training.  It can literally save your company.

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