Scammers Obtain Thousands of Employee W-2s After Successful Phishing Attack

Phishing Attack Hits Bloomington Public Schools – Minnesota

Star Tribune reported an estimated 2,800 current and former Bloomington Public School employees has their private information stolen after a malicious email scam tricked a school employee to send the information to hackers.

The phishing scam requested for all of the 2016 W-2s to be sent to a specific email address.  The school employee did so, before finding out the email was indeed fraudulent.  The school is offering employees a year of insurance to cover personal security protection.

Unfortunately, these phishing scams are not uncommon.  Phishing scams occur year round, but the tax scams certainly peak during the typical tax season.  In order to avoid falling victim to these attacks, PC Matic encourages users to do the following:

  • Check the “from” and “reply to” addresses.  Many phishing scams will show a “from” email address that the PC user is familiar with.  This may be a friend, family member, boss, etc.  However, often times the “reply to” address is not a known email.
  • Hover over the links within the email to ensure they’re secure (https://).
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • If you’re ever in doubt — contact the sender by any of the means below:
    • Compose another email — Do not reply to the email you received.
    • Call the person directly.
    • If it’s from a coworker, go directly to them.

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