With fewer than two months before tax returns are due, the FBI is warning of an increase in new scams that try to trick taxpayers and employers into sending employee records, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other sensitive information.
The scams are most often directed at human resources departments in an attempt to trick workers into sending records for large numbers of employees. Often, the people perpetrating these crimes impersonate executives inside a targeted company by compromising or spoofing a trusted email account that asks for all W-2 information on record.
"Individual taxpayers may also be... targeted, but criminals have evolved their tactics to focus on mass data thefts," FBI officials wrote in an advisory published Wednesday. "This scam is just one of several new variations of IRS and tax-related phishing campaigns targeting W-2 information, indicating an increase in the interest of criminals in sensitive tax information."