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WASHINGTON — The upcoming tax rebate that will put an extra $300 to $1,200 in the hands of most Americans. And, while that sounds good to consumers, it also has become a golden opportunity for crooks. After all, the total going out to individuals is projected to be in the neighborhood of $100 billion, and the bad guys want a chunk.

Credit unions are helping the IRS alert people to the scams that have sprung up. They’re also trying to make certain members who ordinarily don’t need to file a federal income tax return submit the necessary paperwork that will put them in line for a rebate.

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