ELKHART, Ind. – Seemingly a growing trend, Patrick Industries has joined the group of companies scammed by an email phishing attack.

In phishing attacks, scammers are targeting key company personnel by sending them emails from a forged address – making the recipient believe the email is from a trusted user.

In this case, an attacker, disguised as the company's CEO, convinced an unnamed employee to hand over thousands of employee W2s.

ABC57 News reported that police are asking affected employees to monitor their credit, look for new things they have not agreed to, and contact local law enforcement if unusual activity is observed.

Earlier this month, North-Carolina based Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture faced a nearly identical attack, with over 1,100 employee W2s being exposed. Hackers have already begun using the W2s to file fraudulent returns.

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Hackers expose 1,100 employee W2s at furniture manufacturer

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture was the victim of an online hack, which exposed the tax information of over a thousand of the company’s employees.


Outside the wood industry, other companies have been attacked, including Indiana’s Scotty’s Brewhouse and Monarch Beverage.

The IRS reports this is one of the most dangerous email phishing scams seen in a long time.

“This is one of the most dangerous email phishing scams we’ve seen in a long time. It can result in the large-scale theft of sensitive data that criminals can use to commit various crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns. We need everyone’s help to turn the tide against this scheme,’’ said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
 
When employers report W-2 thefts immediately to the IRS, the agency can take steps to help protect employees from tax-related identity theft. The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry, working together as the Security Summit, have all enacted numerous safeguards in 2016 and 2017 to identify fraudulent returns filed through scams like this.
 
 Patrick Industries is offering a year of free credit monitoring to affected employees.