W-2 forms of 800 city employees fall into hands of scammers

Roughly 800 City of San Marcos employees affected

SAN MARCOS, Texas – The W-2 forms of every city of San Marcos employee wound up in the wrong hands after a city employee responded to what appeared to be a legitimate email on Feb. 22.

The mistake was discovered on Monday.

Heather Hulbert, the city’s director of finance, said an email was sent to an employee requesting the city’s W-2 files. The email address of the sender was “masked” to appear as though it was coming from another city employee, so the recipient responded with the requested information.

City staff didn’t discover what had happened until they began investigating after some city employees reported that tax returns had been filed by someone else using their name and Social Security number.

“We immediately notified all the employees,” Hulbert said. “We sent an electronic file to the IRS, so that everyone who received the W-2 files would be flagged at the IRS level.”

The city is also offering employees free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for the next three years.

Hulbert could not confirm whether any employees’ identities had been compromised because of the security breach. She also could not provide comment on whether the employee who responded to the phishing scam may face any repercussions.

The breach affects all city employees, including first responders and city council members.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has called phishing schemes like these the most dangerous the IRS has seen in a long time.

If you feel you’ve received a W-2 scam email, the IRS asks you to forward it to phishing@irs.gov. Type “W-2 Scam” in the subject line.

If your taxes have been filed by someone else using your Social Security number, you should fill out IRS form 14039. You can download it here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf

You can find more resources on what to do if you feel your identity has been compromised at www.identitytheft.gov, or www.irs.gov/identitytheft

Sign up for email alerts today.

Get alerted to news events as they happen or sign up for a scheduled news headline email that is delivered right to your inbox.

All of the day’s important news keeping you up to date wherever you are.

Click here to sign up today.

About the Author:

Myra Arthur is passionate about San Antonio and sharing its stories. She graduated high school in the Alamo City and always wanted to anchor and report in her hometown. Myra anchors KSAT News at 6:00 p.m. and hosts and reports for the streaming show, KSAT Explains. She joined KSAT in 2012 after anchoring and reporting in Waco and Corpus Christi.