IRS Alert: Human Resources Scam

Arthur Bell would like to remind our clients and friends of the firm to be vigilant regarding taxpayer related identity theft scams. The IRS recently announced that, for a second year, reports of the Human Resources Scam are spreading across the United States.

The Human Resources Scam is, unfortunately, a successful email phishing scam that has been targeting payroll and human resources professionals across the country. The payroll or human resources professional will receive an email that appears to be from an executive in the company requesting a list of employees and their personal information. The fraudulent email will have the logo and the signature of the actual executive and will appear legitimate to the victim. Once the criminal obtains the personal information, they attempt to file fraudulent income tax returns for tax refunds.

The IRS has released example language found in some of the phishing scams which includes:

  • Kindly send me the individual 2016 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.
  • Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary).
  • I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

For more information on how to protect yourself against identity theft and what steps to take in the event you are a victim, please see our prior “Don’t be a victim” series here or contact your Arthur Bell advisor at 855-787-0001 or via email at

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