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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued an alert to payroll and human resources professionals to beware of an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees.
The IRS has learned this scheme – part of the surge in phishing emails seen this year – already has claimed several victims as payroll and human resources offices mistakenly email payroll data including Forms W-2 that contain Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to cyber-criminals posing as company executives.
This phishing variation is known as a “spoofing” email. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the “CEO” sends an email to a company payroll office employee and requests a list of employees and information including SSNs.
The following are some of the details contained in the e-mails:
Don’t let your company and employees fall victim to this scam. Payroll and HR professionals should take precautionary measures by emailing the CEO to validate they have requested the information.
If you receive a suspicious phishing email such as the above, report it to the IRS by forwarding the email as-is to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact Doeren Mayhew’s tax advisors with any additional questions.
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