Taking Back the ID

W-2 spear phishing taking a toll, plus phone hijacking

After Duke Hobbs filed his recent federal tax return, the U.S. IRS notified him that it had already received his return and issued his tax refund. Dumbfounded, he immediately visited a local IRS office to discuss the situation and get help. The staff member told him that he was a victim of tax refund fraud and gave him instructions to remedy the problem. Returning to work the following week he told some of his co-workers about his problem and was surprised to hear that others in the organization were also victims of the same scam. These victims were greatly concerned that so many employees in the same organization got scammed. In a follow-up discussion with IRS agents at the local office, the agents told the victims that criminals probably used the recent popular W-2 email phishing scam to target their employer to gain important personally identifiable information (PII) about them.

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