IRS warns schools, hospitals of “W-2 phishing scam” | KPMG | US
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IRS warns schools, hospitals, others of “W-2 phishing scam”

IRS warns schools, hospitals of “W-2 phishing scam”

The IRS today issued a release warning employers that a “Form W-2 email phishing scam” has evolved beyond the corporate world and is spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations, and nonprofit organizations.


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According to today’s IRS transmittal message [PDF 100 KB], cybercriminals are using various spoofing techniques to disguise an email to make it appear as if it is from an organization executive. The email is sent to an employee in the payroll or human resources department, requesting a list of all employees and their Forms W-2.  As a new twist on the scam, the cybercriminal follows up with an “executive” email to the payroll or comptroller and asks that a wire transfer also be made to a certain account. Although not tax related, the IRS reports that the wire transfer scam is being coupled with the W-2 scam email, and some employers have lost both employees’ W-2s and thousands of dollars due to wire transfers.

The IRS is urging employers to inform their payroll, finance, and human resources employees about this W-2 and wire transfer scam. Employers need to consider creating an internal policy, if there is not one already, on the distribution of employee W-2 information and conducting wire transfers.


For more information, contact a tax professional with KPMG’s Washington National Tax practice:

Greg Goller | +1 703 286 8391 |

Alexandra Mitchell | +1 202 533 6078 |

Randall Thomas | +1 202 533 3786 |

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