Washington (May 10, 2004) -- Taxpayers who give personal information to combat charges that they are under investigation for tax fraud are opening themselves up to identity theft, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

In this ploy, unsuspecting consumers receive an e-mail claiming they are under investigation for tax fraud and are subject to prosecution. The e-mail informs recipients they can help the investigation by providing "real" information and directs them to an official-looking Web site, http://deptreas.org/irs/7634//, where detailed personal information must be provided to dispute the charge.

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