The Internal Revenue Service issued an alert Tuesday to payroll and human resources professionals to beware of an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to come from company executives and requests personal information on employees.

The IRS said it has learned this scheme—part of the surge in phishing emails seen this year—already has claimed several victims as payroll and human resources offices mistakenly email payroll data, including Forms W-2 that contain Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information, to cybercriminals posing as company executives.

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