E-Z Pass Users Beware: New Phishing Scam Is Targeting You

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A2EENK Sign For The Automatic Toll Lane On The Pennsylvania Turnpike, USA
For the drivers of 24 million cars in 15 states, having an E-Z Pass transponder makes going through tolls a breeze. You pay in advance, usually with a credit card, and every time you drive through a toll booth, E-Z Pass draws down from your account. In many places, you barely have to slow down as you breeze through.

So if you got an email from E-Z Pass telling you there was a problem with your credit card, or you received a notice that you were at risk of being penalized for failing to pay tolls, naturally, you'd want to update your account or pay your bill quickly.

Not so fast.

Convincing you that there's a problem with your E-Z Pass account is the ruse behind a new series of scam emails being sent to potentially millions of E-Z Pass users, the Federal Trade Commission warned on Tuesday.

The phishing email looks similar to legitimate ones sent by E-Z Pass.You can see an example of one on the E-Z Pass page. People who click on the emails run the risk of downloading malware that could infect their computers and potentially steal personal information. Those who respond with the requested credit card or bank account information are setting themselves up for identity theft.

The FBI Is on the Case

E-Z Pass warns users to not click on the emails, and notes that the FBI is aware of the scam. Anyone who gets an email from E-Z Pass and isn't sure if it's legitimate is urged to contact their local E-Z Pass service center.

The FTC offers the following tips about handling emails like these:
  • Never click on links in emails unless you're sure who sent you the message.
  • Don't respond to any emails that ask for personal or financial information. Email isn't a secure way to send that information.
  • Type an organization's URL yourself, and don't submit personal or financial information at a website unless the URL begins with https (the "s" stands for secure).
  • If an email looks like it is from E-Z Pass, contact E-Z Pass customer service to confirm that it is really from the agency.
  • Keep your computer security software current.

The FTC offers these tips if you have been tricked by a phishing email:

  • Forward it to spam@uce.gov and to the company impersonated in the email.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.
  • Visit the FTC's Identity Theft website. Victims of phishing can take steps to reduce the risk of becoming victims of identity theft.
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