Business Blues: reporting advice to victims of last week’s payroll scam
The FBI is investigating the sudden shutdown last week of an upstate NY payroll processing company that left countless workers across the country with negative bank balances when MyPayrollHR allegedly diverted an estimated $35 million from employee checks and accounts.
Before the collapse of MyPayrollHR, another payroll processing company was caught this year in a scandal involving large sums of money and potentially fraudulent bank transfers.
The IRS has warned of an uptick in a wide range of fraud attempts involving payroll information. The IRS highlights fraudsters are targeting the HR functions of businesses of all types and convincing employees to swap out your direct deposit banking information to an offshore account.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimates that payroll fraud occurs in 27% of businesses.
You’ve been a victim: Take Action
In New York, investigation of the situation will fall to the state Department of Financial Services. Gov. Andrew Cuomo urges anyone affected by the shutdown to file a complaint with DFS by calling (800) 342-3736(8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays) or online at www.dfs.ny.gov/complaint.
In addition, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office asks anyone who feels victimized by such scams to contact Carden at 315-435-2470.
Guidance from the IRS
The IRS has termed some of these types of scams as Business Email Compromise (BEC) / Business Email Spoofing (BES). They closely monitor and investigate these and other attempted fraudulent activity and request that anyone receiving these emails forward copies to their appropriate investigative branches.
The public can file a complaint about either email scams or other internet-related scams by going to www.ic3.gov.
Tax professionals and others should also report tax-related phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. This account is monitored by IRS cybersecurity professionals. This reporting process also enables the IRS and Security Summit partners to identify trends and issue warnings.
In addition to reporting, some businesses have also looked to civil lawsuits to recoup funds.