Attorney General Issues Scam Alert: Russian Email Addresses Cloning New Mexico Officials Asking For W2s

Attorney General Hector Balderas
From the Office of the Attorney General:
ALBUQUERQUE  Attorney General Hector Balderas has issued a scam alert concerning a dangerous phishing scam targeting schools and employers in New Mexico in an attempt to illegally obtain W2s.
The scammers email from addresses that end in “.ru” but show up as the name of someone working in the school district or business in an attempt to trick staff into sending confidential tax information belonging to employees. This scam has already hit four different school districts in New Mexico today. Thankfully, none of the districts were fooled by the scam.
“Please be diligent and make sure you know exactly who is emailing you requesting protected information,” Balderas said. “These scammers targeting New Mexico are sophisticated and they can easily clone names of officials, your boss or other people you may work with on a daily basis. We must all work together to protect against identity thieves.”
Below is an example of what the emails look like attempting to trick human resources employees and other staff into sending personal tax information. Please note the names of the employee and superintendent have been substituted in the below example.
From: James Hallinan
Date: Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 9:36 AM
Subject: EMPLOYEES 2016
Hello Jane,
I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.
James Hallinan
Anyone receiving this type of email is urged to not respond but rather report it to the Office of the Attorney General toll free at 1.844.255.9210.