CONCORD, NH – A fraud alert has been issued by the state Attorney General, warning of a scam email pretending to come from the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles. The fake email notifies the recipient that he or she was cited with a traffic violation and then demands payment of the fine within 72 hours. The scam email contains links for “easy pay” or to contest the fine amount.
The email originates from a scam email address: “violations at citygovernment.co.gov”. The Department of Motor Vehicles does not notify drivers of any violations through email nor does it email requests for payment of fines. Any person receiving this email should not click on any of the links contained in the scam email, as this could infect your device with malicious malware and compromise your sensitive information. Additionally, do not open any attachments contained in the suspicious emails.
According to Larry Crowe, public information officer for the NH DMV, this is not a new scam.
“We starting hearing about this maybe a year ago,” says Crowe. “It’s something that comes in waves, so we don’t believe it’s very widespread, although it’s hard for us to know how many of these emails go out there, since we only hear from those savvy enough to know it’s a scam.”
Crowe said the DMV is publicizing the scam after getting some fresh reports, and to reinforce the department’s policies on customer notification, which never includes email correspondences.
“We don’t use email to notify people of violations. We use the U.S. mail, so that should be the first thing people notice. We understand that people may have concerns, and we’re happy to take their phone calls about anything that seems suspicious,” Crowe said.
He wants to remind the public never to provide sensitive personal or financial information to anyone by phone or email unless you have confirmed the person or organization requesting that information is legitimate.
“Yes, people should certainly make sure if they have loved ones who might be vulnerable, especially those who might not be as savvy about scams including the elderly, to talk about this and other types of scams, to help raise awareness,” Crowe said.
Any person can verify whether they have actually been cited for a traffic violation by calling the Department of Motor Vehicles at 603-227-4000. The Attorney General’s Consumer Information Line is 1-888-468-4454. Consumer complaint forms are available at DOJ’s website: https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm.