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Scam Alert: IRS not bad guy in survey fraud

IRS not bad guy in survey fraud

THE SCAM: IRS satisfaction survey

HOW IT WORKS: After that annual ritual of filing taxes, more than a few people would like to register their opinions about the Internal Revenue Service. But beware of a scam that uses just such a "survey" as cover. It involves an e-mail that promises respondents $80 for completing an IRS satisfaction survey. The e-mail includes a link to a Web site. But the survey is loaded with loaded questions. It asks for not only a name and phone number but credit card numbers in some cases. The IRS does no such survey, and doesn't give out $80.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your identity and your money.

HOW TO BEAT IT: A bit of skepticism is your best defense against this scam. If you receive a suspicious e-mail, look for offers of money or other come-ons that try to entice you to take the survey. If you click on the e-mail's link, look at what questions are asked. Any that want personal or specific financial information are red flags. Delete the e-mail, because for once, the IRS isn't the bad guy.

Contact Bee staff writer Ben van der Meer at bvandermeer@modbee.com or 578-2331.

For past Scam Alerts, go to www.modbee.com/ business/scam.

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