Email scam targets Payroll and HR Professionals
SENT: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 9:22 AM
SUBJECT: Quickly please!
I need to change my direct deposit account information – can you handle immediately? I’m in a rush.
If you received the above email from the CEO of your company, would you find it suspicious?
Unfortunately, more and more companies are falling victim to an increasingly prevalent wire fraud scam which the IRS has continued to warn about.
But it serves as a useful refresher on the responsibility of Payroll and HR Professionals to maintain the integrity of personal financial data.
Employers and HR Professionals are often the targets of malicious hacking attempts – usually through suspicious-looking emails that attempt to garner and/or change personal financial information.
The latest scam follows a simple formula (like the example email above): An HR Director or Payroll Director receives an email from a (usually) high-level employee – even a company owner – requesting an urgent change to direct deposit information. If the target falls for the scam and changes account numbers, multiple pay periods could pass before the individual realizes either part or all of their paycheck has been diverted into an alternate account.
This highlights the importance of maintaining strict policies when it comes to the personal financial information of employees. For example, the changing of direct deposit accounts should only occur after a Direct Deposit Authorization Form is completed and signed (you can download CheckWriters’ Direct Deposit Authorization Form and use it for your own template).
While it remains incumbent upon Payroll and HR Professionals to remain vigilant to scams like these, your Payroll and HR Platform should have certain security measures built into the system to alert you and your employees to significant changes.
CheckWriters has a Text Message Alert Feature that works similar to Mobile Banking Alerts. This feature sends a text notification when any changes are made to direct deposit information within the CheckWriters Platform.
Current customers can request this feature be turned on by contacting their Account Specialist at 888-243-2555.(Please note that the feature requires employee mobile phone numbers).