NSHE Security Advisory: IRS Renews Warning of W-2 Scam


SpywareThe Internal Revenue Service renewed their warning about an e-mail scam requesting employee W-2 forms from organization payroll and HR departments.  This is a targeted scam that attempts to trick payroll or HR officials into disclosing employee names, SSN’s and income information.  The cybercriminals attempt to file fraudulent tax returns for tax refunds.  The phishing variation uses a “spoofing” e-mail that contains the actual name of a high level official such as the Campus President, HR Director, etc.  The e-mail will be sent to the payroll office requesting they provide the information.

The following details may be contained in these fraudulent e-mails:

  • “Kindly send me the individual 2016 W-2 (PDF) and earning summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.”
  • “Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary)?”
  • “I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016.  I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment.”

This is the time of year for tax fraud.  Protect NSHE employees by not disclosing this information and verifying any such requests directly with the individual (by phone, not e-mail).