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					                                 State of New Mexico




                               Office of the Attorney General
                                PATRICIA A. MADRID



                          SCAM ALERT
For Immediate Release                                            Contact: Caroline Buerkle
June 24, 2004                                                    (505) 222-9036


                       Attorney General Madrid Warns Consumers:
                      Do Not Fall Victim to Fraudulent Lottery Scams


(Santa Fe, NM) In light of many complaints received about lottery scams targeting New
Mexico’s seniors, Attorney General Patricia Madrid again issues a warning about fraudulent and
misleading e-mails and mailings consumers might receive.

“The people behind these scams are very clever and target people most likely to be taken in by
their claims of big money, fantastic prizes and the promise of winning by sheer luck,” said
Attorney General Patricia Madrid. “I want to again remind New Mexicans never to give out your
personal information, such as your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers
to anyone who contacts you unsolicited. And, of course, never send money to someone without
first checking with my office’s Consumer Division to see if they are conducting a legitimate
business or promotion.”

Some of these lotteries are operated under such names as “Lottery International,” “El Gordo,”
and “Loteria Nacional” that claim to operate in Canada, Spain or Mexico. Scammers have
misused the names of some reputable and valid lotteries and some are not legitimate lotteries
even in the countries from which they claim to be operating.

Attorney General Madrid added, “Some consumers that we have talked to usually are asked to
send money via Western Union to an address, usually out of the country, for insurance on the
money before they can send it. Once the money is received, the company either quits
communicating with the consumer or asks them for more money for other fees. We have
consumers who have sent over $100,000 to these scammers.”

Attorney General Madrid also wants to remind consumers that there is no lottery operating
anywhere that chooses its winners via a random selection of names from unsolicited lists around
                                                                    Page 2: AG Warns About Bogus Lottery Scams

the world. She said, “If you truly did win something, there should be no reason why you should
be paying for anything to receive your prize, if it’s legitimate. Also, if you didn’t make an effort
to enter it yourself, chances are you’re being targeted by a scammer.”

If consumers receive such “winning notices,” they should contact the Attorney General’s
Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-678-1508. If they have fallen victim to these bogus
lotteries and have sent money totaling more than $15,000, they should contact the United States
Secret Service Office in Albuquerque at (505) 248-5290. Additionally, it’s considered an Internet
Crime if the lottery notice was sent via e-mail and consumers should contact the Federal Trade
Commission.

For more information about these and other scams happening around New Mexico and the
United States, please log onto the Attorney General’s website at www.ago.state.nm.us.

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