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Beware: Phishing Emails Requesting W-2
By: Trisha Thelen

On March 1, the IRS posted an alert to all HR and Payroll Professionals of an email phishing scheme where an email is sent by cyber-criminals impersonating a company executive and requesting employee W-2 forms https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Alerts-Payroll-and-HR-Professionals-to-Phishing-Scheme-Involving-W2s. Since it is not uncommon to have a request for W-2’s during tax season, many companies have fallen victims to this scheme and have mistakenly emailed payroll data, including W-2 forms.  

It is important you remain diligent and carefully examine any email requesting this type of information. Some samples of the emails sent include:
  • Kindly send me the individual 2015 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 a list of W-2 employees wage and tax statements for 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap. 
Before providing W-2 or payroll data in response to an email, verify that a company employee authorized to view the information has requested it. This should not be done by sending a reply email because the address may be appearing similar to the valid email address. Instead, send a separate email, or verify the request by talking to the person on the phone or in person. If      Continue Reading...
New Year's Resolutions for HR
By: Trisha Thelen

If you are like most people, you are now a couple of weeks into the new year with a variety of resolutions such as losing weight, getting fit, eating healthier, or getting organized. Without impeding your opportunity for success on your personal resolutions or curing the skeptics who refuse to partake in such resolutions, consider some areas where you can make improvements at work. Do not seek perfection in achieving these goals, but rather evaluate whether there is room for improvement in each area.

1.      Train Managers. While it would be nice to spend weeks designing a comprehensive training program, many of us face time constraints and reluctance from management to allow employees time away from their jobs. Instead of seeking perfection, consider alternative steps to take. Would it be possible to stop by “crew meetings” and do a five minute refresher on sexual harassment? While we all dread meetings, consider if it would be better to do a shorter presentation at a set meeting instead of having multiple meetings to prepare for training. If your workforce is spread out, on-line training may be a good alternative. 

2.      Hold Managers Accountable. We have all met managers who just don’t get it. While training will help with some managers, additional action is often needed to address a manager’s poor work performance or abusive management style. When you become aware of such behavior, discuss the problem with the manager’s boss and make sure the problem is addressed with the manager during the performance appraisal process. 
3.       Retain Relevant Email. If you are like      Continue Reading...

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