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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Be Aware, Be Very Aware

American Scofflaw

El Pasoans beware of an e-mail scam that is making the rounds.

The e-mail claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service and asks people to complete a W-4100B2 form. The form asks for a name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, bank account and other personal information.

The e-mail states, "Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America tax reporting and withholdings. ... Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing form W-4100B2, and return to us as soon as possible through the fax number: +1-646-519-7245."

Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman, said the e-mail has the IRS seal and may look real.

Sending fraudulent e-mails, also called phishing, is used in an attempt to scam a person into providing private information that can be used in identity theft, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Office of Investigations, which investigates e-mail scams.

Sanford said the IRS never sends e-mails to get in contact with people. Those who receive an e-mail that claims to be from the IRS should delete them or forward them to phishing@irs.gov.

"Don't even open it. ... People have tax refunds on their mind. Don't fall victims to a scam," he said. Con artists "use realistic looking artwork. They're getting more and more realistic every year."

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