Security Awareness – Verifying Identities During Tax Season


Security Awareness – Verifying Identities During Tax Season

With the tax season upon us, many employees are reaching out, asking for copies of their W-2’s. W-2’s contain sensitive information that can be used in many different malicious ways. It is important to identify the person requesting the W-2 or any sensitive data.

It is important to ask yourself, how do you know that the person you are communicating with via phone call, email, text message, etc., is who they say they are?  Sometimes you work with a person enough that you recognize their voice. That’s great, but what if you can’t recognize their voice? This is when you want to use information that you have on record to confirm a person’s identity. Many companies will have different ways in which they do this and have established policies to follow.

If you don’t have any policies that tell you how to do this consider asking for 2-3 pieces of information to confirm the person’s identity. At least some of this information should not be public information. For example last four SSN and/or Date of Birth. In conjunction you could ask for someone to confirm their email address, phone number, mailing address that they have on record with this.

If you had any indication or concern that the person you are dealing with may not be who they say they are consider doing an even more thorough verification.  What is the name of the company they currently work for or worked for in the past? Approximately when did they start that assignment? When did their assignment end?

Another scam that is very common right now is where bad guys attempt to pretend, they’re our employees and ask for direct deposit bank account information to be changed.  This is another great example where you want to make sure you’re doing all that you can do to verify someone’s identity.

For more tips on security awareness in a workplace, click here.