HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen advised consumers on Friday to beware of a sweepstakes letter claiming to be from Gov. Dannel Malloy that is actually part of a prize scam.

The fake letter bears a replica of Malloy's signature and informs recipients that in return for a cash payment to cover state taxes, they will receive a Mercedes Benz vehicle and a sweepstakes prize of $5 million from Reader's Digest. The letter is actually part of a scam transmitted by a free facsimile transmittal service called faxZero. The letter may have been sent to residents via U.S. mail and email.

"Scam artists use a variety of techniques - some simple and some more sophisticated - to attempt to obtain money or personal information," Jepsen said. "This scam is particularly concerning because it uses the governor and the position of authority that comes with his office in an attempt to appear legitimate. All residents should use caution when it comes to unsolicited phone calls, faxes, letters or emails."

William Rubenstein, the commissioner for the Department of Consumer Protection, said the letter contains clues that give it away as a scam, including a request for an upfront payment. He said consumers should never pay money before receiving a prize in a contest they did not enter. Rubenstein said any consumers who issue a payment to the scam would lose their money.

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