W-2 Email Scam Continues to Affect Businesses

February 8, 2017

Businesses’ HR and payroll departments are the targets of a W-2 email scam, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).   

The IRS reissued a warning about a W-2 email scam that is targeting payroll and human resources (HR) departments. It’s critical that payroll and HR officials double-check all unusual and executive-level requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security numbers.

Data Security Tips

Because technology touches so many aspects of our lives, the importance of data security continues to grow. The IRS recommends the following tips for securing your data:

  • Always use security software with firewall and antivirus protections. Make sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update.
  • Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records you store on your computer. Use strong passwords.
  • Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, text messages, and threatening calls from cybercriminals posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card company, and even the IRS.
  • Don’t click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
  • Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure. Treat your personal information like you do your cash; don’t leave it lying around.

The ability to access crucial information online has revolutionized the way we live and work. But because we rely on this technology in almost every part of our lives, we must be ever more vigilant about securing our information.

Warnings such as this provide opportunities for business owners and HR administrators to double-check important forms. Spend some time in the next week to confirm your W-2 employee information.  


Matthew Keller is a Senior Payroll Specialist at Zenefits who authors our "Money Matters" column. With 20+ years of experience in payroll and accounting, Matt wants to help customers navigate frequent law changes, taxes, and more.

Category: Payroll, Money Matters With Matt

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