Emerging Markets Law

Payroll and Email Do Not Mix

Tax season brings with it many headaches. For the last couple of years, W2-related phishing scams have been among them. Cyberthieves may send email to HR or financial personnel that looks like it comes from a senior executive. The email may ask for copies of W2s for all employees. The scam used to be targeted to corporations only, but is now hitting school systems and non-profits as well. 

As part of its cyber risk planning measures, any organization would be well served to have training and policies in place regarding how to respond to emails asking for this kind of information. In addition, no organization should be sending documents such as W2s by unsecured email. 

Employee awareness is one of the biggest and best defenses to this kind of scam: knowing that the company policy is never to send such sensitive information in the clear, no matter who asks, can go a long way to preventing problems. A timely reminder during tax season is a good idea, as is revisiting the organization's cyber plan overall at regular intervals.

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