Washington (Aug. 5, 2004) — The Internal Revenue Service has renewed its warning about a fraudulent scheme targeting non-resident aliens who have income from a U.S. source. The IRS has seen signs the scheme is spreading in the Caribbean area.  Caribbean countries in which this scheme has surfaced include Barbados, Puerto Rico, Tobago, Trinidad and the Turks & Caicos Islands. Earlier this year, the scheme appeared in South America and Europe.

The scheme uses fictitious IRS correspondence and an altered IRS form in an attempt to trick the foreign persons into disclosing their personal and financial data. The fraudulently obtained information is then used to steal the taxpayer’s identity and financial assets. The practice is called “phishing” for information.

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