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DMV Warns Against Scam Toll Collection Texts


Since early March 2024, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received thousands of complaints reporting smishing1 texts representing road toll collection service from at least three states.  Definition for Smishing: A social engineering attack using fake text messages to trick people into downloading malware, sharing sensitive information, or sending money to cybercriminals. “Smishing” combines “SMS”—or “short message service,” and “phishing.” “Phishing” generally pertains to attacks on the internet, email, or websites.

IC3 complaint information indicates the scam may be moving from state to state.  Recently, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles reported many New Yorkers have received similar messages on their phone like this below:

The texts claim the recipient owes money for unpaid tolls and contain almost identical language. The “outstanding toll amount” is similar to the complaints reported to the IC3. However, the link provided within the text is created to impersonate the state’s toll service name, and phone numbers appear to change between states.

If you receive one of these texts, the following is suggested:

  1. File a complaint with the IC3, www.ic3.gov, be sure to include:
    1. The phone number from where the text originated.
    2. The website listed within the text
  2. Check your account using the toll service’s legitimate website.
  3. Contact the toll service’s customer service phone number.
  4. Delete any smishing texts received.
  5. If you clicked any link or provided your information, take efforts to secure your personal information and financial accounts. Dispute any unfamiliar charges.

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