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Consumer Ally Scam Alert: It's Not the IRS Asking for W-2 Info

w-2 scam w2If you get an email claiming to be from the IRS telling you that you need to submit information for your W-2, it is a scam intended to trick people into sending their personal information to identity thieves.

The Better Business Bureau issued a warning today about this new scam.

Consumers receive an email supposedly from the IRS warning them that they have not submitted their W-2 form and giving them a link to click to input the information. The IRS will not email you. They will send a letter if they need more information. And W-2 forms are submitted by employers, not taxpayers.

"This is a new identity theft scam that the BBB has not seen before," Janet C. Hart, a spokeswoman for the BBB in Charlotte, N.C., said in a statement "However, it is very timely and relevant information because employers have until Jan. 31, 2011, to get your W-2 form to you. So consumers could easily think it's real and wind up as victims of identity theft."

There have been several IRS scams before. Sometimes the email comes from the "Treasury Department" stating that a refund or tax inheritance is waiting and the consumer needs to provide personal information. A link or an attachment is often included, sometimes leading to an official-looking form.

Here are some tips to help you recognize a scam:
  • If the IRS needs information, they will send a letter. You will NOT be asked to send information through email.
  • Do not click on any links in unknown emails. It could infect your computer with viruses and spyware.
  • Do not give out personal information, including SSN, home address and birth date to anyone who emails or calls you.
  • If the email has a lot of punctuation and spelling errors, that's a heads up that it's probably not an official letter.

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