If you get an e-mail from the IRS asking for your name, address and other information so the agency can check its records, promising you a $50 reward for being so helpful...don't respond. Don't open the attachment. Don't do anything except hit the delete button.
It's a scam, a spokesman for the IRS says.
The e-mail, which is making the rounds, is an example of "phishing", or trolling for personal information that can then be used for illegal purposes. How sneaky are these folks? They mask their real e-mail address with one that purports to be @IRS.gov .
"We don't solicit information over e-mail," said David Tucker of the IRS office in Seattle. "And we certainly don't offer cash rewards."
These scams are around all the time, but often ramp up at tax time, Tucker said. If you get one, you can notify the agency by e-mail at phishing@IRS.gov . You can also read more about phishing and protecting your personal information at a special IRS web page found here.