Phishing scam nets hundreds of Viskase employee IDs

OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - "Human error" is being blamed for hundreds of Viskase employees' identities, including Social Security numbers, being released in a phishing scam.

In a recent email to employees, including those at Viskase's Osceola plant, Michael Schenker, general counsel for Viskase Companies, Inc., stated:

We have just learned that Viskase has become the victim of an email phishing incident that resulted in disclosure of the information on its hourly and non-exempt employees' 2015 IRS W-2 forms.

In a telephone interview with Region 8 News on Wednesday, Schenker confirmed the incident affected 590 employees.

He also said "human error" was to blame for the information being sent to an unauthorized recipient.

When asked if Viskase still employed the person or persons responsible, Schenker replied: "I don't want to discuss that."

He said the company had contacted the IRS, FBI and other state and federal authorities.

In Friday's email to workers, Schenker said all affected employees would receive one-year of free identity theft protection from Experian. He also urged employees to file their taxes as soon as possible to avoid fraudulent tax returns filed in their names.

Viskase is a plastic fabrication company based in Lombard, IL. According to its website, it invented the first synthetic sausage casing using regenerated cellulose.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android