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ATLANTA (AP) -- Health officials in Georgia are warning people to be cautious when participating in health-related phone surveys.

The state Department of Public Health says several residents have reported suspicious phone calls. The agency says that in at least five cases the caller claimed to be "from the health department."

The caller asks about ethnicity and religion, among other questions. The agency's inspector general, Kenneth Bramlett, is investigating whether the calls are related to fraud. He says the calls are not coming from the Department of Public Health.

The agency says it does sometimes use phone surveys to get information on health trends. But the agency says it will never: ask for religious information; ask for credit card information; or try to sell goods or services.