We continue to hear of various phone and email scams. The persistence of the IRS scam in particular is troubling. Like most criminal endeavors, the goal is to catch us at a bad time, or on a bad day, and take advantage of that to extract the information criminals need.
As a rule, never provide information directly to someone who calls you. If you think the call may be legitimate, request a callback number and then verify that number directly with the actual entity in question. If the matter is actually that important, it can wait for this additional security check.