Tax Scammers Now Targeting Payroll Departments

scamScammers 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.