FBI warns of toll scams targeting drivers through text messages

May 18, 20240

If victims click the link they need to secure all their financial accounts


Scammers are now texting drivers to pay for tolls they don’t actually owe, the federal government warned.

Since early March, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), has received over 2,000 reports from three states about this text-message-based phishing attack, also known as “smishing.”

In this particular scam, bad actors will text a victim claiming they have an outstanding bill and then will direct them to a link that is “designed to look like the actual name of their state’s toll service” to pay the fee, according to the FBI.

Many of the complaints noted that the text will use similar language, like “outstanding toll amount.” But the link is created to impersonate the state’s toll service name, and the phone numbers appear to change between states, investigators said.

Toll booth

Cash and E-Z Pass signs at the New Jersey Turnpike.  (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

The FBI in an announcement included an example of a text that victims should be wary of.

Based off of the complaints, the FBI believes this scam may be moving from state to state.

Here are the steps victims need to take if they believe they received a scam text:

  1. File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3 and be sure to include the phone number from where the text originated and 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 of these “smishing” texts
  5. Secure your personal information and financial accounts if you clicked any links and dispute any unfamiliar charges

John Ley

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