Thursday, July 17, 2014

Electronic Toll Road Collection Scam

Here is a new twist on a common scam - trying to steal your money, or at minimum the passwords to your accounts, by faking an email invoice to pay an electronic toll road fee.

Many toll roads now use fast passes as you pass through the booth. Many are set up to send invoices to those cars that do not have the fast pass or whose pass did not register properly. But these invoices are sent in the regular postal mail based upon the address of the registered car owner of that license plate. I've read that in San Francisco they are collecting millions of dollars this way. Scammers want in on that pot of gold. Personally, I have felt the board overseeing the Golden Gate Bridge to have an awful lot in common with scammers. But that's for another post. Let me get back to the topic at hand.

Scammers are now trying to fake these invoices in email hoping to trick people who don't know how these work or that they would never come in an email. They are called FastTrak here in California. E-ZPass is used in 14 different states (in some states it may be called something else but it rebranded from E-ZPass) including Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia.

So the scammers are not only targeting people who live in these states, they are targeting anyone who has also visited these states, even if it was awhile ago (they still might question if they owe something, not knowing how it all works). That's a pretty large pool of people.

They were not targeting me. I live in California and have not been to any of these states in any reasonable recent time. But scammers don't care. They are soulless beings. They have their way to send out millions of emails and they just hope enough people are tricked by the email and do not care about those who see it as an obvious fake. I'm guessing soon I'll receive an email using the name of the pass system used here in California. It's only a matter of time.

Here is what this email looks like:

the link goes to an obvious scam url but most people don't look at the url BEFORE they click on it. Best advice is DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS IN EMAIL. There are other ways to find out if you really owe any toll fees... but really, you will be mailed something in the postal mail, not in email.

Don't fall for this one. Don't let the scammers win.

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