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New ID scam hits Richmond

A new identity theft email scam has shown up in one local resident’s email box.
Former Richmond Chamber of Commerce President Jerry McCarter recently sent The Daily News an email that he had received claiming to be from the IRS.
Once the document is downloaded and opened, it appears as an official letter with an IRS logo at the top.
The letter tells the recipient that IRS records indicate that the receiver is a non-resident alien. Along with the letter is a form for the receiver to fill out and fax back to a number provided. The form asks for basic information such as name and address plus other information such as date of birth, passport ID numbers, social security number and bank information.
McCarter said he was skeptical when he first looked at the email and was afraid to even open the attachments because of the possibility of a virus. McCarter said if he was someone here working on a visa, he might be fooled.
“It looks real,” he said. “It really looked authentic.”
McCarter forwarded the email to the Missouri Attorney General’s office and received back a quick response. The AG’s office indicated to McCarter that the scam was new new to their department and would further investigate
According to the IRS Web site, using the IRS name and similar logos is a common practice of Internet scam artists. The site has a list of current and recent scams that have been reported to the IRS. The list did not contain the scam received by McCarter but did list a similar scam.
The IRS site says the agency never sends out mail or emails requesting personal information that can be used to steal someone’s identity. The IRS asks that scams be reported to IRS.gov.

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