‘Smishing’ Scam Targets Road Toll Users

‘Smishing’ Scam Targets Road Toll Users
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A new cyber threat is targeting toll-road drivers across the country, according to a public service announcement by the FBI. The scam involves sending fake text messages that claim to be from the state's toll service provider, such as E-ZPass, and try to trick people into paying fraudulent toll fees.

“The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received over 2,000 complaints since early March 2024”, reporting smishing texts “from at least three states.”

The FBI defines “Smishing” as: “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.’”  

Here is an example of the type of text you might expect if you are at the receiving end of one of the scams: 

(State Toll Service Name): We've noticed an outstanding toll amount of $12.51 on your record. To avoid a late fee of $50.00, visit [PHISHING WEBSITE] to settle your balance. 

The FBI bulletin states that "the link provided within the text is created to impersonate the state's toll service name, and phone numbers appear to change between states."  

The FBI advises anyone who receives such a text to file a complaint with the IC3, a.k.a. the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and provide the phone number and website listed in the text. The FBI also recommends checking your account using the official toll service website, contacting the toll service's customer service number, deleting any smishing texts, and securing your personal information and financial accounts if you clicked on any link or provided your information.