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Officials warn about scammers that impersonate your employer

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HARTFORD — State officials warned residents about a phishing scheme that targets employees in an attempt to obtain personal information and other data.

Scammers are using fake emails made to look like a an employer’s email  to request the employee W-2s., according to Attorney General George Jepsen, Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan and Department of Consumer Protection  Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris.

The requests appear as if they came directly from the companies Chief Executive Officer.  Because those forms have  Social Security numbers, full names and addresses,  they can be sold or used for identity theft and financial fraud.  Officials said,  “The W-2’s in particular give an identity thief almost everything needed to commit tax fraud.”

Sullivan said, “The IRS and DRS never contact taxpayers through email or by phone in this way, so do not respond.”

Called the “CEO fraud,”  the scams are referred to as “business email compromise.” The FBI said people have lost nearly $750 million in 2015 to scammers between October 2013 and August 2015.

If you are a business that has been targeted or fallen victim to this scam, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3):

If you are worried that a call or email from the IRS is real because you know you owe taxes, contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 .  Fraudulent emails purporting to be from the IRS should be forwarded here.

If you become a target of this scam, it’s also helpful to file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

Consumers with questions can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Privacy and Data Security Department at 860-808-5440, the Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649 or the Department of Revenue Services fraud hotline if they are a victim at 1-855-842-1441.

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