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IRS alerting businesses about new tax scam

The Internal Revenue Service Headquarters building in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Bellingham police have received reports of telephone scam calls where the caller poses as the IRS and threatens arrest if people don’t pay overdue taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service Headquarters building in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Bellingham police have received reports of telephone scam calls where the caller poses as the IRS and threatens arrest if people don’t pay overdue taxes. Associated Press

The Internal Revenue Service is warning businesses about a new scam revolving around an old idea — phishing for information.

The new scheme has already claimed several victims as payroll and human resource offices mistakenly emailed payroll data, W-2 forms and other personal information to cybercriminals posing as company executives.

“This is a new twist on an old scheme using the cover of the tax season and W-2 filings to try tricking people into sharing personal data,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a news release. “If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees, check it out before you respond.”

The IRS recently renewed a wider consumer alert for email schemes after seeing a 400 percent increase in phishing and malware incidents so far this tax season.

Dave Gallagher

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