Comptroller Franchot Warns of Email Phishing Scams
With the 2016 tax filing season well under way, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot wants to remind taxpayers to safeguard their personal information by being alert to email phishing scams trying to get at their money through the disclosure of their Social Security numbers, wages and home addresses via W-2 statements.
The Comptroller’s Office recently received calls from several Maryland employers reporting that employees at their businesses have received suspicious emails from individuals impersonating company officials and asking the recipient to supply copies of company employee W-2s statements. Those who respond to the emails risk the theft of personal information and identities.
“I want to assure taxpayers that emails like these are scams and they should not open or respond to the email with their personal data,” Franchot said.
The Comptroller’s Office advises not to reply to emails asking for confidential information, most especially Social Security numbers, birth dates, salary information or home address. If you receive an email asking for a copy of your W-2 form, you should immediately contact your employer. You also may call 1.800.MD.TAXES or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division investigates suspicious activity reported by taxpayers.
Franchot’s top legislative priority this year is the Taxpayer Protection Act, which provides greater tools to prevent fraud and protect taxpayers.
“I want all taxpayers to be careful with their personal information, and to be sure to tell their friends and neighbors to be careful of any suspicious emails,” he said.