How to protect against cyber tax scams

Maryland residents and small business owners may need to be especially wary of identity theft and other security issues during the tax filing season. This is because thieves may try to get a list of employee W-2 forms in an effort to get the information on it. Companies are urged to contact the IRS directly if they are the victim of a scam or believe that someone is trying to conduct a scam.

Employees should be directed to not reveal sensitive employee information unless the request is verified as authentic. In some cases, an individual may send an email posing as a manager within the company who needs a list of employee names and W-2 forms. Scammers may also attempt to walk into an HR office and ask for such information in person. However, it is possible that anyone within an organization could be vulnerable to such requests.

Companies should keep an eye on all emails that they receive that may look suspicious. Even if no information is transmitted to someone looking to commit fraud, malicious software could be loaded to an office computer. Sometimes, emails will have an IRS address or otherwise look like it came from the IRS. It is important to note that the agency will not ask for tax information through an email message.

If a person faces tax crime charges, the assistance of counsel should be sought. If convicted, an individual may face jail or prison time as well as financial penalties. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution, which may result in charges being dropped or reduced.

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