W-2 scam affects 1,300 Pennsylvania tax payers

FILE - In this March 22, 2013 file photo, the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. As millions of Americans file their income tax returns, their chances of getting audited by the IRS have rarely been so low. The number of people audited by the IRS last year dropped for the sixth straight year, to just over 1 million. The last time so few people were audited was 2004, when the population was significantly smaller. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is warning residents of a new phishing scam, targeting human resource and payroll employees.

Criminals disguise an e-mail to look like a message being sent from an organization executive. The e-mail requests a W-2 form for each employee in the organization. They can then use the information to commit a number of crimes, including identity theft.

The scam was around last year, and officials say this year it has expanded beyond the corporate world, even hitting public schools and non-profit organizations.

So far, three in-state companies and thirteen out-of-state companies have been targeted, affecting 1,300 Pennsylvania tax payers.

“What we’re encouraging employers to do is let their staff know about this scam,” said Kevin Hensil with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. “Make sure they’re on the lookout. And if you were to receive an e-mail asking you to e-mail your W-2, remember to stop, connect, and confirm. Stop what you’re doing, connect with the person who sent it to you, and confirm the e-mail is real and not part of a scam.”

Anyone who believes they may have fallen victim to the scam is encouraged to report it to both the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and the IRS.

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