Scammers looking to steal personal and financial information are now targeting payroll departments this tax season. The Internal Revenue Service says scammers are sending out e-mails to payroll and human resources professionals claiming to be their company’s CEO.
They ask for a list of employees, as well as their W-2 Forms, including personal information such as Social Security numbers, home addresses, and birth dates. The IRS says this is a variation of a phishing scam known as a “spoofing” e-mail, and the messages will usually contain the CEO’s actual name. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says if your CEO appears to be e-mailing you asking for employees’ personal information, double check to make sure who it’s actually from.
The IRS says it’s seen a 400 percent increase in phishing and malware schemes so far this tax season. Criminals can use that personal data to file fraudulent tax returns and seek refunds.