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Indiana companies on high alert for W-2 scam

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Businesses in Central Indiana are on high alert after two Indiana companies recently released thousands of employees' social security numbers and other critical information voluntarily.

“There’s a lot of bad people and people need to be more cognizant of that, especially since the Internet makes the world so much smaller than it was before," Rook Security Director of Security Operations Tom Gorup said.

Gorup will present to Indy's chapter of the American Payroll Association, a professional association for individuals responsible for processing company payrolls, Monday night about the recent scams hitting Indy companies.

Monarch Beverage realized just this week  an employee had sent out employees' W-2 forms, which include names, addresses and social security numbers, to scammers for the second year in a row.

An employee at Scotty's Brewhouse got tricked last month and released the private information of 4,000 employees to criminals.

For the W-2 scam, criminals send an email to someone in the payroll department asking for the W-2's, pretending to be the CEO, and asks for the documents immediately.

Gorup said the scam simply caters to human nature.

“They feel maybe my job is at risk. This person is important. They need whatever they need right now for some reason and my job is to just cater to that," Gorup said.

Both Scotty's and Monarch are offering the victims free credit monitoring for at least a year, but Gorup explains the problem last much longer.

“But at the end of the day your social security number is out there. This has become a life-long problem," he said. "(The social security numbers go to anyone ) from an illegal immigrant to someone who is just trying to buy things illegally."

Gorup said employers are starting to realize that employees need more education and awareness of potential scams so they don't become a victim.

"For now we are looking at tax season, W 2’s are a primary target, later on we are going to go back to wire transfer fraud, and who knows what the next item will be, but they will use the same techniques. I’ll promise you that," Gorup said.

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