Churches and ministries should pay careful attention to the following warning from the IRS to employers, noting an uptick in scammers who pose as bosses or other colleagues requesting W-2 and social security information.
The dangerous email scam is currently circulating nationwide and targeting employers, including tax exempt entities, universities and schools, government and private-sector businesses. The scammer poses as an internal executive requesting employee Forms W-2 and Social Security Number information from company payroll or human resources departments. They may even send an initial “Hi, are you in today” message before the request.
The IRS has established a process that will allow employers and payroll service providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam. See details at Form W-2/SSN Data Theft: Information for Businesses and Payroll Service Providers. If notified in time, the IRS can take steps to prevent employees from being victimized by identity thieves filing fraudulent returns in their names. There is also information about how to report receiving the scam email even if you did not fall victim.
As a reminder, tax professionals who experience a data breach should also quickly report the incident to the IRS. Tax professionals may contact their local stakeholder liaison. See details at Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals.