FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2016
Mary Ann Dunwell, Public Information Officer, MT Dept. of Revenue, (406) 444-6700, MDunwell@mt.gov
Molly A. Petersen, Public Information Specialist, MT Dept. of Revenue, (406) 444-4331, MollyPetersen@mt.gov
MT Department of Revenue warns companies of identity phishing scheme involving W-2s
HELENA – The Montana Department of Revenue is joining the Internal Revenue Service alerting businesses to a phishing email scheme that targets payroll and human resources professionals. The scheme involves an email that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees.
The scheme has claimed victims. Payroll and human resources offices have mistakenly emailed payroll data, including Forms W-2 that contain Social Security numbers and other personal identity information to cybercriminals posing as company executives.
The department is asking Montana companies to let us know if their employee information has been compromised. Please contact the department toll free at (866) 859-2254, or in Helena at 444-6900.
“We can’t emphasizes enough that businesses should alert their payroll and other staff about this scam,” said Micah Christensen, Income Tax Compliance Unit Manager, Montana Department of Revenue. “It’s human nature to respond quickly to your boss. In this case, it’s not your boss, it’s a fraudster out to steal the confidential information of your employees. In some cases, the cybercriminals have succeeded.”
If HR staff receive an email from a company executive asking for a list of company employees and their information, employees should check it out before they respond.
“Everyone has a responsibility to remain vigilant about confirming the identity of people requesting personal information about employees,” said Christensen.
The department, IRS, other state tax agencies and tax industry are engaged in a public awareness campaign — Taxes. Security. Together. — to encourage everyone to do more to protect personal, financial and tax data. See IRS.gov/taxessecuritytogether or Publication 4524 for additional steps you can take to protect yourself. Also, visit http://revenue.mt.gov/fraud-prevention or call toll free at (866) 859-2254, or in Helena at 444-6900. Department call center hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The department will extend hours during the last week of tax season.
Mary Ann Dunwell
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Revenue
(406) 444-6700, (406) 461-2648 cell
125 N. Roberts, PO Box 5805, Helena, MT 59604-5805