Your 2017 W-2 statement and how to protect yourself from tax scams
Tax season is coming, which means that soon scammers will be sending fraudulent emails that look like legitimate tax communications. The IRS estimates that identity thieves have stolen more than $11 billion through tax fraud since 2012.
You can protect yourself from becoming another victim by being cautious. Be on alert for the following:
- Any message asking for W-2 or other tax information.
- Authentic-looking emails impersonating UC communications that offer access to your W-2 or other tax information via an attachment or hyperlink.
- Messages that look like they are from executive management requesting copies of employee W-2s for review purposes. See the IRS alert from last year about this scam.
- Any messages that encourage you to click on links, or ask for passwords or other private or confidential information.
- Unexpected phone calls about such messages, including ones that ask you to install software.
Your 2017 UC W-2 statement
As a reminder, here’s how you will receive your 2017 W-2 from UC:
- Printed W-2s will be mailed by Jan. 31 to the address you have on file. UC will send you a printed W-2 unless you request an electronic version.
- Electronic W-2s will be available for viewing on UCPath after Jan. 22.
- You can request electronic delivery of your W-2 on UCPath; however, the deadline for this year’s W-2 has passed, so this change will be applied to next year’s tax statements.
Please note that UC does not send actual tax statements to employees by email or text. If you have requested an electronic W-2, you must log in to UCPath to view it. If you receive an email or text that has an attachment for viewing your W-2 or other tax statement, it is a phishing scam designed to gain your private information. Do not open any attachments or click on any email links.
Here are additional steps you can take:
- To access your W-2 statement, go directly to the UCPath website, instead of clicking on a link in any email from any sender.
- Use known contact information (such as a phone number or email listed on a UC directory) to verify any request for W-2 or other tax information before providing the information — even if the message looks like it’s from someone you know.
- Do not reply to emails asking for your password or SSN.
- Familiarize yourself with the IRS’ current list of tax scams so you recognize them.
But don’t stop there. Here are eight important cybersecurity habits to help protect your information, your family and your work, and reduce your risk of getting scammed.