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Internet scam focusing on 'Oprah' fans

Nov. 23, 2006 at 7:15 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A series of e-mails has been making the rounds, seeking personal data about people through fake invitations to the "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago.

The Illinois attorney general's office has warned that e-mails offering a "special invitation" to the popular talk show are just a scam intended to gain key information to exploit victims, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Internet scam focuses on gaining individuals' bank account numbers and social security numbers, and has become a concern for Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

"With the large number of Oprah's fans worldwide, we are concerned that their excitement at the opportunity to attend a taping of her TV show may result in fans responding to this unauthorized offer," said Madigan. "Consumers should be alarmed whenever unsolicited e-mails ask them to divulge personal or financial information."

The Tribune said victims of the Internet scam should phone a hotline at 1-800-386-5438 to get help.

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