The IRS typically does not initiate emails to individuals asking for personal information. Before acting on any phone call or email purportedly from the IRS, call the agency at 800-829-1040. An agent will be able to verify whether the IRS is in fact trying to get in touch with you. If you are certain the contact was part of a scam, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800-366-4484. You can also report unsolicited emails by forwarding it to phishing@IRS.gov.
If your personally identifiable information (PII), such as your name, address, or Social Security number has been stolen, the information can be used to open credit cards and loans or file a fraudulent tax return in your name, allowing the thief to claim your refund.