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March 1, 2016

Its tax season and the IRS issued an alert to all payroll and HR departments to beware of the old scheme of emerging phishing emails and the new twist is they appear to come from cyber criminal posing as company executives requesting  personal information of their employees.

Criminals are focusing on payroll departments tricking people into sharing personal data, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees, check it out before you respond. Everyone has a responsibility to remain diligent about confirming the identity of people requesting personal information about employees.”

Spoofing  refers to tricking or deceiving computer systems or other computer users. This is typically done by hiding one’s identity or faking the identity of another user on the Internet.

Here are a few examples to look for during this tax season:

  • Kindly send me the individual 2015 W-2 (PDF) and earnings 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 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

The IRS has noticed an 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents so far this tax season.  I recommend training, education and some more training and education be diligent and present to all your daily tasks.

Till next time keep it real, keep it secure and keep it locked up!


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