For Immediate Release
January 15, 2008
Senior Assistant Attorney General Connie Stratton
Attorney General Kelly Ayotte today warned New Hampshire consumers that the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has recently received a report that consumers in New Hampshire and elsewhere are receiving scam e-mails which purport to be from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. The e-mails instruct the recipients that to receive their winning prize, they must provide their passport and social security numbers.
Attorney General Ayotte urges consumers to be very suspicious of any unsolicited e-mails asking for personal information which purport to be from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. Executive Director Rick Wisler of the Lottery Commission assures consumers that although it sends e-mails at the request of players, it never sends unsolicited e-mails to people asking for personal information.
These e-mails not only mislead the recipients into thinking they have won the lottery, but they ask for personal information which could result in identity theft or other fraud. Attorney General Ayotte warns consumers not to respond to these e-mails and not to provide the requested personal information. This type of scam is used to deceive consumers so that hackers can steal private information. Once the criminal has your information, it may be used to steal your identity and run up bills in your name.
In order to help New Hampshire residents avoid becoming victims of identity theft, and to assist those who may be victims of identity theft, the Attorney General reminds consumers to visit the Identity Theft Protection Kit on the Attorney General's Web site, www.doj.nh.gov/consumer. The Identity Theft Protection Kit provides step-by-step information on what to do if you become the victim of identity theft. The Web site also provides links to important information on how to protect your personal identity.
Attorney General Ayotte said, "If you receive an e-mail from any agency or business which asks you for personal information, you should be suspicious. Remember, businesses or government agencies are not likely to contact you in this manner, and if they do, they will not be asking for personal information."
Consumers who receive these scam e-mails are encouraged to contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov. The Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau of New Hampshire maintains a toll free consumer hotline at 1-888-468-4454. It is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm to assist consumers with questions related to identity theft and other consumer related issues.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301