Beware of Fake Payroll Direct Deposit and Wire Transfer Emails
The IRS has reported an uptick in business email compromise / business email spoofing (BEC/BES) phishing emails targeting tax professionals, which involve payroll direct deposit and wire transfer scams.
These emails generally impersonate a company employee, often an executive, and are sent to payroll or human resources personnel. The email from the "employee" asks the payroll or human resource staff to change his or her direct deposit for payroll purposes. The "employee" provides a new bank account and routing number, but it is actually controlled by the thief.
In another version of the BEC/BES scam, the emails impersonate a company executive and are sent to the company employee responsible for wire transfers. The email requests that a wire transfer be made to a specific account that is controlled by the thief.
These BEC/BES scams often include grammatical and spelling mistakes, and can take many forms such as fake invoice payments, title escrow payments, or wire transfers.
Below is one example of an email that was recently reported to the IRS by a tax professional (this email has been edited by the IRS):
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2018 [REMOVED]
Subject: (no subject)
I changed my bank and I will like my paycheck DD details changed. Do you think this change be effective for the next pay date?
Sent from my iPhone
for more on BEC/BES scams and how to report them.