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Dangerous W2 Phishing Scam

02/20/17

By EagleTech Amanda Callahan ‘20

The IRS has recently discovered that dangerous W-2 phishing scams have spread to schools, tribal organizations, as well as nonprofits. The scammers are attempting to steal employee's W-2 information from these companies. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says, “This is one of the most dangerous email scams we’ve seen in a long time.” These scams can result in the theft of data criminals can use to commit various crimes, such as filing fraudulent tax returns. But with help from the IRS there are new safety precautions that can be taken to help prevent this from happening to you.

The IRS is working with Security Summit to help identify fraudulent returns filed through scams. As the safeguards become stronger the criminals need more and more data to mimic real tax returns. Security Summit urges employers to be vigilant. The scam has spread to school districts, tribal casinos, chain restaurants, staffing agencies, health care, shipping, and freight. The companies also hit last year should expect to be receiving the same scammed email again. An email is sent to an employee in payroll or human resources by the cybercriminals, that requests a list of all the employees and their W-2 forms. A new twist has been added that asks for a wire transfer of money to a specific account. Some companies have lost both W-2 forms and thousands of dollars to wiring.

If you receive a W-2 scam email forward it to phishing@irs.gov and put “W2 Scam” in the subject line. Also beware of using search engines to find technical help with taxes. Selecting the wrong tax support could lead to a loss of data or a virus in your computer. If your employees and company are affected be sure to alert the state tax agency at StateAlert@taxadmin.org.

Known Phishing Email Subject Lines:

Request
W2
EMPLOYEES 2016
URGENT
Important Request
request
REQUEST
W-2
W2 REQUEST
Urgent Request
Urgent
Quick Review
QUICK
w2
{EMPLOYEE NAME}
Urgent: Audit Request
Respond:
Request for all Employees W2'S
Report Request
Our Company Individual W-2 Verification
Inquiry
Employees
Copy of W2
Attn!!
2016 Wages
2015 Final Pay Stub
W-2 Review
Very Urgent.
Tax Services
SALARY REVIEW
Quick Request
Memo
Earnings request
All Employees
2015 Wages
Your Response Is Needed !!!
Work
W2 INFO!!!
W-2 Statements
W-2 Scam
W-2 Request
Very Urgent .
Urgent Request
URGENT REQUEST
Review
Request.
Request for W2
Request for W-2 Documents
Request For All Employees W2s
Request - 2016 w2
Record of Staffs 2016
RECORDS OF STAFFS
Quick action...
Quick Review !!!
Payroll issue
Payroll
Message
Manual Review
Hi {EMPLOYEE NAME}
Hello!!!
Hello {EMPLOYEE NAME}
FYI
Employees Wages for 2016
Employees W2 request
Employees 2016
Are You On Seat?
AVAILABLE
2016 URGENT REVIEW
2016 Statement
2016 REVIEW
{EMPLOYEE NAME}.
{EMPLOYEE NAME}, REPLY ASAP
{EMPLOYEE NAME}, Quick One
{EMPLOYEE NAME}, Please treat as Urgent
{EMPLOYEE NAME}, Please assist
{EMPLOYEE NAME} get back to me asap
{EMPLOYEE NAME} get back to me ASAP
{EMPLOYEE NAME} - Can you get this to me today?
{EMPLOYEE FIRST AND LAST NAME}
wage statement
Wage Review
Wage Analisys
W2-2015 TAX SUMMARY
W2- 2015 Tax Summary
W2 Wage and Tax Statement.
W2 SUBMITTION
W2 SCAM
W2 Request
W-2s
W-2 scam
W-2 copies
W-2 Statement
W-2 PDF.
W-2 FORM
W-2 Copy
Urgent!!!
Urgent Attention!!!
URGENT: Time sensitive request
URGENT!!!
Today’s Request
Tax Statement
Swift Preview!!
Subject: Urgent Request !!!
Statement
Sorting
STAFF TAX RETURN PDF FILES
Requirement
Request {Mon DD YYYY}
Request for {Month DD, YYYY}
Request for all Employees 2016 W2'S
Request for W-2 Documents
Request for February 10 2017
Request for Employees' W2 2016
Request for Employees' 2016 W2
Request For {Mon Day, Year}
Request For All Employees 2016 W-2's
Report
Record of 2016 staffs
REVIEW
REQUEST
RECORD OF STAFFS
Please reply soon
Please reply (W2)
Paper Work
NEW VENDOR
Morning
Irs/Staff Audit
Information request.
IMPORTANT REQUEST
IMPORTANT
Hello!!!!!!!
Hello
FYI, {EMPLOYEE NAME}
Employees W2
Employees Statement.
EMPLOYEES 2016
Copies of employees W-2
Copies of W2's
Confirm!!!
Confidencial
Attn: {EMPLOYEE NAME}
Attention
About 2015 Refunds*******
ALL EMPLOYEES
2016 W2
2016 Taxes
2016 Form W-2
2016
2015 W-2

 

 

 

"Dangerous W-2 Phishing Scam Evolving; Targeting Schools, Restaurants, Hospitals, Tribal Groups and Others." Dangerous W-2 Phishing Scam Evolving; Targeting Schools, Restaurants, Hospitals, Tribal Groups and Others. IRS, 2 Feb. 2017. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.