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Don't fall for the 'Rachel scam'

Consumers should beware if someone named Rachel e-mails to say they've won a $1,000 Visa gift card and check afterward to be sure she didn't plant malicious software on your computer.

State consumer protection officials say it's just another online scam. Earlier this year, some Wisconsinites got robo-calls from Rachel, claiming she was from "Credit Card Services" and telling people that a local business or charity is giving them a $1,000 gift card. She instructs people to go to a Web site to activate it - and when they do, state officials say people are asked for a slew of personal information.

When people click the link, it opens a door for scammers to place malware on the computer, which then enables them to to track everything the user does.

State officials say Rachel now claims she's with "Customer Service, Employee Benefits Center."

They warn folks not to open the e-mails or the links inside and never to respond to any prompts from automated phone calls. The consumer agency says it allows scammers to confirm that you have a working number - and they can sell it to other scammers.