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Seagate acknowledged surrendering the W-2s for all of its current and former employees who worked at the company last year.

Hundreds of companies appear to have been targeted, according to Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of Know Be4, a Florida company that trains employers to detect and avoid such scams.Some emails also ask companies to transfer money to a specified bank account.Companies should be on alert for anyone asking for employees' W-2 forms or for wire transfers of money. * j Query-ajax Transport-XDomain Request - v1.0.3 - 2014-06-06 * Script/j Query-ajax Transport-XDomain Request * Copyright (c) 2014 Jason Moon (@JSONMOON) * Licensed MIT (/blob/master/LICENSE.txt) */ (function(factory) (function($) )); $.ajax(); $(function(){ $.ajax({ url: "// IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms — scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves.Cyberthieves perpetrate the scams by sending emails that appear to come from executives inside the targeted organizations.

The emails ask payroll or human resources departments to reply with a list of all employees and their W-2 forms.

Phishing attacks commonly occur during holidays and other annual events, such as tax season, to prey upon people's routines, said Fatih Orhan, director of technology at security firm Comodo.

The attacks are becoming increasingly effective because they rely on powers of persuasion instead of an attachment or link that might raise suspicion, said Ed Jennings, chief operating officer at email security company Mimecast.

SAN FRANCISCO - Tax-filing season is turning into a nightmare for thousands of employees whose companies have been duped by email fraudsters.

A major phishing scheme has tricked several major companies -- among them, the messaging service Snapchat and disk-drive maker Seagate Technology (STX) -- into relinquishing tax documents that exposed their workers' incomes, addresses and Social Security numbers.

The scam, which involved fake emails purportedly sent by top company officials, convinced the companies involved to send out W-2 tax forms that are ideal for identity theft.