(Columbus, OH. / March 28, 2016) — The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) today began alerting employers to the latest fraud scheme that is being reported nationwide. Over the past few weeks, payroll and human resources offices at various companies across the country, including some in Ohio, have received emails that appear to come from the CEO or other high ranking management official of the company. The emails seem to be a legitimate request for confidential payroll data. In fact, those emails are a phishing scheme by cybercriminals posing as company officers and fooling employees into providing detailed payroll and W-2 information that is then used to file fraudulent tax returns.
This scam has been worked on more than thirty companies resulting in the theft of W-2 tax information for thousands of current and former employees. The W-2 form contains an employee’s Social Security number, salary and other confidential data. This information enables thieves to create a realistic looking, but fraudulent tax return requesting a tax refund that is then filed with Ohio or other states, and the IRS.
Any Ohio company that has been the victim of or experienced this or any email phishing scheme should immediately contact ODT at 1-800-282-1780 so appropriate measures can be taken to protect against potential tax fraud and safeguard Ohio taxpayer dollars.