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April 20, 2017 | Posted in:

55 Small Business Hit by Phishing Scam — Don’t Be One of Them

Err on the side of caution to be safe rather than sorry.

The latest fraud scam in 2017 is infiltrating HR and payroll departments across the country attempting to portray an employee needing a reprinted form or an IRS agent who requires employee data. Unfortunately there are many businesses who were left vulnerable after mistakenly sending over the sensitive data. Thieves prey on those who don’t do their due diligence, so take this opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others.

Understand the “act” and learn from it.

Over the last year at least 55 companies reported they had fallen victim to a new type of specialized phishing scheme. The scheme involves a criminal masquerading as a real employee, often a key executive, and then duping unwitting employees to provide a payment or secure files. The criminals do this by sending an email requesting lists of employee W-2s or asking the employee to wire funds to a fake vendor. Sometimes the sender claims to be an IRS agent who requests personal information or demands immediate payment of a nonexistent tax bill.

Don’t let your company be the next to fall prey to this scam.

Whenever confidential information is requested, employees should take a moment to ask members of the human resources or payroll department if they know about the request. Employees who receive an email request should call the executive to confirm he or she sent the email.

EDUCATE YOUR EMPLOYEES: Remind employees that the IRS never initiates contact regarding a tax issue by email or phone call. This scam can take many forms, so your best defense is awareness – let your team know what to look for and what to do if they receive any fraudulent emails.

Additional resources to help you be proactive:

  • Consider these precautionary measures to protect your business from future phishing scam attempts: Keep Reading →
  • How can your CEO, HR manager, and payroll team members avoid falling victim to this scheme next time around? Learn what our affiliate Abacus Payroll, Inc. has to say: Keep Reading →
  • Advice from our CPAs at Tax Time — Stay Alert for Tax Scams: Keep Reading →

The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance. For more information or for assistance with any of your tax or business concerns, contact our office at 856.667.4100.

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