Taxpayers beware! The IRS never initiates taxpayer communications through e-mail. So, if you receive an unsolicited e-mail appearing to be from the IRS, it may be part of a phishing scheme. Phishing is a technique used to obtain personal information from unsuspecting people, using an e-mail message that appears to be from a legitimate business. The message attempts to get the recipient to divulge personal data such as account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. Their purpose is identity theft.
What do you do if you receive an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS? First of all, do not reply. Don't open any attachments or click on any links. Forward the e-mail as is to firstname.lastname@example.org. After you forward the message, be sure to delete the original message you received [source: IRS].