The increased flow of personal and tax information makes consumers more vulnerable to fraud and identity theft during filing season. The Internal Revenue Service is urging taxpayers to be wary of phishing scams that may jeopardize their financial security.

Scammers use the period following the April 15 tax deadline to send out official-looking emails that appear to be sent from the IRS in order to manipulate taxpayers into revealing personal information, reports the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Taxpayers should be aware that a legitimate IRS notification will come in the form of a letter or notice that arrives by mail.

"Because so many people prepare and file their taxes electronically, they may wrongly assume the IRS will contact them online about their taxes," Michael Devine, IRS spokesman, told the newspaper. "The IRS never sends unsolicited emails about your taxes."

Taxpayers who have received emails supposedly from the IRS should not reveal any personal information and contact the agency to report phishing.

Email phishing is a longstanding tool criminals use to commit identity theft. This crime affects nearly 11 million Americans annually. Taxpayers should not open any attachments or respond to such online correspondence in order to better protect their privacy.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.