Missoula -- As tax filing season gets into full swing, the Better Business Bureau is warning of a W2 scam.
"The W2 form scam was a big scam over the last two years. This year, the IRS put out a news release, warning businesses that they need to educate their payroll departments about this scam. It's an e-mail spoofing scam. Cybercriminals are doing research on your business. They know who the top brass of your business is. They use this spoofing technique to make it look like an e-mail is coming from within your own organization. Let's say a fake e-mail comes down to the payroll department, requesting copies of all W2 forms. That payroll employee might not recognize that that e-mail is a fake," said Dan Buchta.
The Better Business Bureau warns that a lot of information can get into the wrong hands if a payroll employee is fooled and sends off the information.
"Those W2 forms contain your name, address, social security number, and your withholdings. A crook can use that to file fake tax returns. When they are done with that, they can sell the information on the dark web," said Buchta.
Businesses can take many steps to protect employee information.
"You need to educate your payroll department that this scam is out there and how they can recognize it. Then you want to limit the number of employees who actually have access to this type of personal data. Put a system of confirmation in place. It's a big request to ask for all employees W2 forms. Make sure, that if there is an e-mail like that that goes out, there is also a follow up, face to face meeting or a phone call to confirm it. Finally, if you do find your business is a victim of this scam, notify the IRS immediately. There are steps they can take to protect your employees." said Buchta.
For information on scams like this, you can go to bbb.org.