The Division of Consumer Protection is warning Utahns not to participate in two separate chain letters being circulated in the state.

The first is targeted to women. "To the women friends in my life who know how to dream and create their own reality!!!" it reads, saying each participant can receive $10,000 by contributing $1. The letter also claims to be legal."Both these statements are false," said Gary Hansen, division director.

"In Utah, chain letters are illegal pyramids, and participants can be prosecuted on third-degree felony charges," he said. "The opportunity to make money through chain letters and other similar devices is an invitation to break the law."

Hansen said he received a copy of the letter Nov. 13.

"They spread like wildfire. If I've seen one, I'm going to assume there are hundreds and possibly thousands out there," he said.

The second letter, titled "How to Raise Yourself From Poverty to Riches," also asks for $1 from each participant.

Hansen said the copy his division received listed addresses from California and Washington, which could mean the division has caught the letter in its early days in Utah.

He said chain letters not only violate Utah's gambling laws, but federal postal regulations as well.