Don't Get Caught in a Scam

Tax season is typically the most vulnerable time for organizations when it comes to the potential of being scammed. Cyber criminals continue to use ever changing technology to push the limits regarding identity theft, data breaches, compromising business emails and engaging in business email spoofing scams. 

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is warning about phishing emails involving payroll direct deposits, wire transfers, Form W-2 scams, among other fraudulent activity. Additionally, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) warns about recent scams involving social security numbers. This criminal activity can present itself in many forms, including impersonations of a company representative, employee or executive “sent by” email correspondence or by phone. These communications are typically requesting personal or financial information.

If you receive a suspicious email communication, it is important to take swift action, which may include one (1) or more of the following steps:

Read the communication carefully and be on the lookout for grammatical and spelling errors. Most fraudulent communication will contain these errors.

  • Do not engage with the scammers. 
  • Confirm the validity offline with the company executive or employee if it is unclear whether the email is coming from a valid source.
  • Delete the email and avoid forwarding, if possible.
  • If the email is non-tax-related, report the communication to the Internal Crime Compliant Center (“IC3”) at www.ic3.gov.
  • If the email is tax-related, report the communication to the IRS by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • If the employer is impacted by the Form W-2 scam, the communication should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

Should an employer be threatened by a potential Social Security scam, the employer should report the activity to SSA by calling 1-800-269-0271 or by submitting an online report at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

The top source of security incidents is the employee workforce. Therefore, it is critical that all employees know how to recognize data breaches or fraudulent activity, and, feel comfortable bringing those concerns forward.

For more tips on how to address scam situations, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860. In addition, we would be pleased to assist you with any other HR matter your business may need guidance with.

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City of Topeka Public Works

Jason M. Peek, Ph.D., P.E.
Public Works Director
City of Topeka
 

“I just wanted to say thank you for your help the past few months with implementing change in our organization.  I thought yesterday’s staff meeting went well and have received positive feedback from the meeting.  Thanks again for your help in improving our team!”