Each year since 2014, the IRS has published a list of the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams. The 2017 list started being revealed on February 1, with a mainstay of the prior year lists, "Phishing". No, this is not referring to the Vermont jam band with the drummer that wears a housedress and plays vacuum cleaner solos and fans that enjoy hacky-sack and patchouli. This "phishing" is an email scam that attempts to steal personal and financial information. From the IRS:
Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft.
If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), report it by sending it to email@example.com.
It is important to keep in mind the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS has information online that can help you protect yourself from email scams.*
Keep in mind that if you get an email from a foreign "prince" or the US Secretary of State (I got that one this week) offering you millions of dollars, it is fake and delete it.