CONCORD — Attorney General John Formella is warning New Hampshire residents about a recent report of scammers sending a fraudulent letter alleging to be from his office.

The faulty letter appears to be issued on official letterhead and purports to be signed by New Hampshire’s deputy attorney general.

The letter claims that the recipient’s identity has been used in connection to an online retailer, and that the AG’s office is investigating the “unsanctioned transaction.”

The letter warns that any of the resident’s accounts, financial and otherwise, linked with their social security number will be shut down. The letter also provides contact information that is not legitimately associated with the Attorney General’s Office or with any other law enforcement agency.

The resident, believing the letter to be legitimate, called the telephone number listed in the letter. The resident was then asked to purchase gift cards from a local retailer and to send cell phone photos of the gift card numbers.

In addition, the resident was asked to send cash through the mail and to provide personal identifying information, including a Social Security number.

Formella offers the following tips to avoid being involved in this scam:

Know that the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office will never send correspondence to identity fraud victims (or any other crime victims) threatening to shut down the victim’s accounts

No law enforcement agency, including The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, will demand you purchase and send gift cards or gift card information or cash

Be wary of any unexpected correspondence saying it’s from a law enforcement agency, including The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, seeking personal information, including a Social Security number

A ways verify contact information provided in any correspondence saying it’s from a law enforcement agency through a trusted and known source, like a government website.

The Attorney General’s Office official contact information can be found at doj.nh.gov.

This matter is being investigated by the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office.

If you or someone you know receives this scam letter or has fallen victim to this or another scam, report it to your local police department and the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office.

Complaints can be filed at doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints or by calling the Consumer Hotline at 603-271-3641.

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