FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 31, 2017
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Albuquerque, NM – This afternoon, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Scam Alert concerning a dangerous phishing scam targeting schools and employers in New Mexico in an attempt to illegally obtain W2s. The scammers email from addresses that end in “.ru” but show up as the name of someone working in the school district or business in an attempt to trick staff into sending confidential tax information belonging to employees. This scam has already hit four different school districts in New Mexico today. Thankfully, none of the districts were fooled by the scam.
“Please be diligent and make sure you know exactly who is emailing you requesting protected information,” said Attorney General Balderas. “These scammers targeting New Mexico are sophisticated and they can easily clone names of officials, your boss or other people you may work with on a daily basis. We must all work together to protect against identity thieves.”
Below is an example of what the emails look like attempting to trick human resources employees and other staff into sending personal tax information. Please note the names of the employee and superintendent have been substituted in the below example.
From: James Hallinan email@example.com
Date: Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 9:36 AM
Subject: EMPLOYEES 2016
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.
If you receive an e-mail like this do not respond and please report it to the Office of the Attorney General by calling toll free at 1-844-255-9210.
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