Perfectly timed to the busy travel season, scammers are behind phony emails supposedly sent by the “E-ZPass Service Center” or “E-ZPass Collection Agency.”
So beware. Whether or not you have an E-ZPass account, the bogus message may make its way into your inbox, prompting you to click a link.
Don’t take the bait. Not only will you be asked to provide sensitive personal and financial information, but clicking that link may also install malware onto your computer that could give cybercrooks remote access to your online files and accounts, or enlist it as a spam-sending botnet.
Popping up this month, this phishing scam has already prompted warnings from officials in most of the 15 states where E-ZPass is used on toll roads. We couldn’t confirm if anyone had fallen victim. But this email, sent en masse, isn’t the most convincing con.
Usually with the subject line “In arrears from driving on toll road,” it claims to the unnamed “Dear customer” that “You have not paid for driving on a toll road” and you need to click on an embedded link to pay the phony invoice.
In addition to not addressing recipients by name or E-ZPass account number, other telltale signs that the message isn’t authentic include:
- The purple E-ZPass logo is a close match but lacks the distinct white lines that go through the word “Pass.”
- There’s no reference to any of the 25 toll agencies or state transportation offices that participate in the E-ZPass program.
- The “from” line only says “E-ZPass Info” and includes an address associated with WordPress, a publicly available website-creation service.
If you get this email, you know what to do: Delete it without clicking on the link — or even replying, since that alerts scammers to your working email address for possible future spam.
For information about other scams, sign up for the Fraud Watch Network. You’ll receive email alerts with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud, and gain access to a network of experts, law enforcement and people in your community who will keep you up-to-date on the latest scams in your area.
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- Fight fraud and ID theft with the AARP Fraud Watch Network.
- Join AARP: savings, resources and news for your well-being
See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.