Year End Scams – Be On Guard

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With the major December holidays behind us, the New Year is right around the corner.

With the New Year, comes the flurry of tax forms that we need in order to file our corporate and personal tax forms in March and April.  Especially with key parts of the Federal government on furlough due to the current shutdown, the scammers will be out in full force!

Over the next week and into January, you should be receiving your W-2 and other various tax forms, mostly via US Mail, though more and more organizations are moving toward electronic distribution of these tax forms.

W-2 ScamBe very weary of any email you receive with a tax form attached.  It will almost certainly be a scam, with hackers looking to compromise your account and/or identity.  Most companies will ask you to login to their secure portal to retrieve your tax forms.  I recommend you do that by going to their site manually, not clicking on any links you may receive in an email and as I said earlier, never open an attachment like that.

This applies to HR departments as well.  They need to be on the lookout for scams where company executives ask them to email them all the issued W-2’s.  Do you know an executive that would ever ask for something like that?  I hope the answer is no.  This has happened in years past, so don’t let yourself get caught this year.  Certainly any company executive who needs access to this information has access via whatever systems you use.  Ask them to login and retrieve the information they need, but don’t give them any credentials to do so.  If the request is legitimate, they will have what they need and know you are doing the right thing.

Protect your privacy and remain vigilant!  The bad guys are out there, just waiting for you to slip up.  Think of like a game of Simon Says.  Don’t do it, if you don’t hear Simon Says 🙂