The scammer pilfering your tax return data may very well be sitting in front of a computer in Eastern Europe.
An analysis from 2015 to 2017 by cybersecurity consultancy Kroll revealed that two-thirds of U.S. tax forms on the dark web — a corner of the internet that's only accessible through a special browser — came from computer users outside of the U.S., namely in Romania and Russia.
Only a third of the tax forms, which included workers' W-2s, could be sourced back to computers in the U.S.
"The W-2 has that holy trinity of personally identifiable information – your name, Social Security number and date of birth," said Brian Lapidus, a practice leader at Kroll.
"They can be used to steal and replicate your identity, get credit in your name and do other things with your information," he said.
Here's how your W-2 winds up on the dark web.