IRS to businesses: Beware phishing scams targeting employee W-2s

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The Internal Revenue Service warned businesses to watch out for phishing scams seeking employee W-2 forms, according to CBS News.

In a W-2 scam, a cyberattacker sends an email to payroll or human resource departments while posing as one of the target organization's executives. The cyberattacker then asks for a set of employees' W-2 forms, which include identifying information such as Social Security numbers.

Roughly 200 businesses, public schools, universities, Native American governments and nonprofits were hit by W-2 scams during the most recent tax filing season, according to the government. In 2016, the government identified roughly 50 W-2 scams, according to CBS News.

To avoid a W-2 scam, the IRS recommended businesses alert employees with access to W-2 forms about the phishing trend.

"If you get a suspicious email, pick up the phone and call the person who purportedly sent it, using a phone number you can verify as theirs, not one that might be contained in the email. Confirm that this person has in fact made the request," CBS News reports.

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