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Is this Form STD 261 Email Legitimate, Spam, or a Virus?

We've received questions about the following email:

All employees need to have on file this form STD 261 (attached). The original is retained by supervisor and copy goes to Accounting. Accounting need this form to approve mileage reimbursement.

The form can be used for multiple years, however it needs to re-signed annually by employee and supervisor.

Please confirm all employees that may travel using their private car on state business (including training) has a current STD 261 on file. Not having a current copy of this form on file in Accounting may delay a travel reimbursement claim. 

+ ZIP attachment

With the sea of government forms seemingly growing by the minute, this one makes your heart skip a beat thinking that possibly you have missed a deadline. While the form may be legitimate, here are the red flags that you need to recognize:

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The IRS Security Breach - How to Protect Yourself

IRS Security Breach

"The IRS announced today it will be notifying taxpayers after third parties gained unauthorized access to information on about 100,000 accounts through the “Get Transcript” online application.

The IRS determined late last week that unusual activity had taken place on the application, which indicates that unauthorized third parties had access to some accounts on the transcript application. Following an initial review, it appears that access was gained to more than 100,000 accounts through the Get Transcript application." - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/IRS-Statement-on-the-Get-Transcript-Application<

Soon, some will receive notification from the IRS that their personal information was compromised. This follows announcements from multiple retailers that they too mishandled private data <that should never have been made public. With ubiquitous weak points in security, and intelligent criminals with a financial incentive, what can ones do to protect themselves, and what can small businesses do to protect their clients?

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