IRS Alerts Payroll and HR Professionals to Phishing Scheme Involving W-2s

The Internal Revenue Service issued an alert to payroll and human resources professionals to beware of an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees.

IRS has learned this scheme, part of the surge in phishing emails seen this year, has already claimed several victims as payroll and human resources offices mistakenly email payroll data including Forms W-2 that contain Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to cybercriminals posing as company executives.

This phishing variation is known as a “spoofing” email. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the “CEO” sends an email to a company payroll office employee and requests a list of employees and information including SSNs.

 

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Bambenek Investigative Group
4810 Pt. Fosdick Drive NW,  200
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335-1711
(253) 255-6910
don@bambenekinvestigations.com
www.bambenekinvestigations.com

Member:
Association of Former Customs Special Agents (AFCSA)
Federal Law Enforcement Officer’s Association (FLEOA)
Intellenet
Pacific Northwest Association of Investigators (PNAI)
Pacific Northwest License, Tax, and Fraud Association (PNLTFA)
Washington Association of Legal Investigators (WALI)

Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks

The FDIC issued an alert dated December 22, 2010, concerning a report from the Cashmere Valley Bank, Cashmere, Washington, that counterfeit instruments with the routing number 125104603, bearing the Cashmere Valley Bank’s name are in circulation.

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Identity Theft a Continuing Threat

Identity theft is continually on the rise, stretching law enforcement resources to a breaking point.  Though there are laws already on the books that cover the broad range of offenses, getting a law enforcement agency to do an investigation will be a chore.  I’m sure some agencies will take a report, if you prepare one,  but beyond that you might be the one that will need to do the follow up. I encourage you to do that.  What might start out as a small loss, can quickly grow to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I have worked enough of these cases, collected the documentary evidence, interviewed witnesses, obtained video, conducted surveillance, and continually updated federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.  While the local agencies have been very helpful and arrested many of the perpetrators, it is usually the federal law enforcement agencies that have had the greatest impact based on the number of years the criminal is sent to prison.  However, for the case to go federal the dollar loss usually needs to be significant.

I have found the United States Secret Service and the United States Social Security Special Agents to be the most proactive in these cases.

For information from the United States Department of Justice relating to identity theft and more go to http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html