Published Date Written by Roger AmsdenSANBORNTON — A Sanbornton woman whose letter warning people of the dangers of renewing their driver's license online appeared in Thursday's Daily Sun says that she was scammed by a website which purported to be providing her with assistance.
Peggy Graham said that she was under the impression when she wrote the letter to the newspaper that the website which charged her a $25 fee for her husband Hal's online license renewal was actually hired by the state of New Hampshire to handle driver's license renewals.
But when she spoke with New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles officials Friday she found out that there is no such arrangement with the state and that there are no additional fees for online registration through the state DMV website.
''I never thought I would fall for a scam. But the website was so confusing that I fell for it. I was scammed,'' said Graham, who said that when she looked at the state DMV website yesterday she realized that it was the different from the one she used for the license renewal, which she said was Forms-Assistance.com.
She said that he used a Google search engine to locate the DMV site which was listed on the renewal letter her husband had received and ended up at the wrong site.
''It was not easy, and there were several items that didn't seem right to me, but for an additional $25 fee (on top of the $50 for the license) I didn't have to drive to Concord,'' Graham wrote.
But she says that whe she received a bill she discovered the fee had gone to Britain (via the Internet) and that every month thereafter they were charged $10 a month for using the service provided by the website. She said that she was able to cancel that arrangement and have the $10 fee refunded.
She said that she used a credit card in that transaction and intends to closely monitor it's activity.
A spokesperson at the office of Richard C. Bailey, Jr., NH Director of Motor Vehicles said that similar scams have been the subject of concern in New Hampshire for several years and frequently involve people going to the wrong website, which frequently will have a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page that it is not an official government website.
In December of 2011 Bailey issued a press release warning of the scams which were being used to obtain personal and credit card information.
"We have had a number of reports of drivers in New Hampshire and other states being duped into providing sensitive information to scam websites. We certainly encourage people to make use of online driver license renewal, but they need to make sure that they are dealing with the real DMV website."
Bailey said people can be tricked into going to a scam website if they do an Internet search for the DMV site. He said the way to avoid that is to enter the exact web address directly: www.nh.gov/dmv.
"The authentic web address and a Renewal Identification Number (RIN) needed for online renewal are contained in the letter that drivers receive about six weeks before the expiration of their license," Bailey said.