The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) is reminding tax preparers and employers in the state to continue looking out for phishing and other email scams. One particular email scam is the Form W-2 email phishing scam.
The W-2 form reports an employee's annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from their paycheck, as well as other confidential information.
The most common scenario involves a phishing email sent to someone in a company’s human resources or payroll office that appears to be from an executive of that business. The email inquiry requests employee W-2 data, and in some cases, payroll information to be emailed immediately.
Some examples the email is a scam is that it will contain grammatical and spelling errors, as well as old or wrong company information. The email addresses will be made to look like an internal email address, but will typically have an external email address (e.g., Gmail, yahoo). These scams also may try to impose a sense of urgency by saying the Form W-2 information is needed immediately.
The Department of Revenue recommends that companies and their staff refrain from responding to the email and confirm the sender’s request by connecting with the person whose name is on the email by phone or in person. If the business has an internal phone directory, employees should use the number listed in that directory rather than a number provided in the suspicious email.
ADOR urges employers to take steps to ensure payroll, finance and human resources’ employees are aware of the W-2 scam and by establishing specific internal policies to address these requests.
An organization receiving a Form W-2 scam email or has any questions should contact the Department of Revenue’s Identity Theft Call Center at: (602) 716-6300, toll free: (800) 352-4090 or at: https://azdor.gov/individual-income-tax-information/identity-theft.
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