NCDOR Warns Businesses of Payroll Tax Scam

The N.C. Department of Revenue, along with the Internal Revenue Service and other state tax agencies, is cautioning businesses about an email scam that uses a corporate officer’s name to request W-2 information from company payroll or human resources departments. The information is then used to file fraudulent tax returns and claim the resulting refunds.

NCDOR officials urge business owners and CEOs to warn their human resources departments about unusual requests for their employees’ withholding information.

The payroll scam first appeared in North Carolina last year and has already resurfaced in 2017. This phishing variation is known as a "spoofing" e-mail. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. The "CEO" sends an email to a company payroll officer or human resource employee and requests a list of employees and information including social security numbers.

The following are examples of the verbiage and details that may be contained in the emails (note the incorrect grammar):

  • Kindly send me the individual 2016 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 the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

Visit for more information on preventing tax-related identity theft.