AAA officials say an e-mail scam is targeting E-ZPass users.
For the second year in row, account holders in the Washington metro area are receiving fake e-mails that warn they are “indebted for driving on toll roads,” according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. The message then asks for credit card information, social security numbers, user names or passwords.
This form of email fraud is called “phishing.” In these scams, cybercriminals send an email asking you to click on a link, which takes you to a replica of the real website. When you open the link, malware infects your computer, allowing criminals to access information on your computer.
AAA Mid- Atlantic has a few tips when it comes to detecting a fake email:
- Check to see if the email is from the Maryland Transportation Authority or the Virginia Department of Transportation. Typically, perpetrators are able to copy logos, but be suspicious even if there is a logo.
- Any link that has a string of numbers for a web address is probably not the real website warns Microsoft. If you’re unsure where a link came from, never click on it.
- Don’t respond to any emails that ask for personal or financial information. Email isn’t a secure way to send that information.
- Check for grammar or spelling mistakes.
- Type out 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-ZPass, contact E-Z Pass customer service to confirm that it is really from the agency.
- Keep your computer security software current.
E-ZPass Maryland users can check their account balances using MDTA’s automated telephone system by calling 1-888-321-6824. E-ZPass Virginia users can call the Customer Service Center at 1-877-762-7824 to check their balances.
If you find a fraudulent email, forward it to email@example.com and to the company represented in the fake email. Also, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
About 2.1 million cars in Maryland and Virginia use E-ZPass.