Ryman Hospitality Properties Hit With Email Scam

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Nashville’s Ryman Hospitality Properties, parent company for The Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and WSM-AM, was the victim of an email spoofing scam earlier this month.

Internal communication was sent to employees informing them that confidential W-2 information for 2015 was breached on March 23. The data included names, addresses, tax rates and Social Security numbers, as well as income earned from Opry performances in 2015 for some musicians. The Opry stated that the data did not include bank account records or account passwords. This incident only affects employees’ information and does not affect customers.

Ryman Hospitality Properties provided the following statement to MusicRow regarding the event:

On the afternoon of March 23, we learned that we were victimized by a fraudulent “phishing” scam (also known as email spoofing) which resulted in the confidential IRS W-2 information of our employees being mistakenly transferred outside the company. We are deeply sorry for this incident and are working aggressively to investigate all aspects of the situation.

We take the privacy of our employees’ personal information very seriously, and while we had controls in place to prevent this sort of leak, they did not work in this instance.  Our primary focus now is to work aggressively to ensure this never happens again, and we have an entire response team working toward this aim.

What happened is this: An employee received an email that appeared to have been sent by an officer of the company asking for employee W-2 information. In reality, this email was sent from an outside party using a common fraud tactic known as email spoofing / phishing and, as a consequence, personal employee information was disclosed externally.

We are taking immediate steps to help all those who may be impacted, including making identity theft protection and credit monitoring services available at no cost to affected individuals. We believe that any person who received a W-2 from us in 2015 may be impacted, but this does not include those who provided a Form 1099.

We will continue to provide regular updates on this situation.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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