Application security

Charlotte Housing Authority hit with W-2 tax breach

The Charlotte, N.C., Housing Authority was hit with one of the tax season's earlier W-2 breaches, which was identified 10-days before the Federal Trade Commission's Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week kicked off.

The housing authority said an email was sent to an employee purportedly from the CEO asking for all current and former W-2 records. The email was received and acted upon, but the fact that it was fraudulent was not discovered until January 19. The information compromised includes employee names, addresses, Social Security numbers and wage information.

The number of people affected was not noted, but the housing authority said all current employees possibly involved have been notified and it is in the process of informing former employees.

Dozens of companies, schools and government entities were hit with W-2 scams last year.

The FTC's Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week runs from January 29 through February 2 and is intended to raise awareness of incidents such as those that struck the Charlotte Housing Authority.

The FTC will host events each day:

Monday, Jan. 29

2 p.m. EST ― The FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center co-host a webinar for consumers. Learn about tax-related identity theft and IRS imposter scams, their financial and emotional impact, how to protect yourself, and how to recover if you become a victim.

Tuesday, Jan. 30

2:30 p.m. EST ― The FTC, AARP Fraud Watch Network, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration host a webinar on tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams. Learn how tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams occur, how to avoid them, recovery steps for victims, and about free resources for you and your community.

Wednesday, Jan. 31

11 a.m. EST ― The FTC and the Department of Veterans Affairs co-host a Twitter chat for service members, veterans, and their families. Learn how to minimize your risk of tax identity theft, and what to do if it happens to you. Join the conversation at #VeteranIDTheft.

Thursday, Feb. 1

1 p.m. EST ― The FTC and IRS offer a webinar for small businesses: Protecting Sensitive Business and Customer Data ― Practical Identity Safety Practices for Your Business. Learn about tax-related identity theft, imposter scams that target businesses, practical cybersecurity practices for small business, data breach response, and free resources for your business, employees and customers.

3 p.m. EST ― The FTC and the Identity Theft Resource Center co-host a Twitter chat about protecting yourself against tax-related identity theft. Get to know the warning signs, how to reduce the chance of becoming a victim, and how to recover if it happ

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