Traffic Department Scam Targeting Minnesota + Wisconsin Residents
It seems that every week there are scams to look out for, whether they are new scams or scams that have been around for a while and are making a comeback in a community.
Recently, I was targeted when I received an email from the 'Department Of Transportation'. I read the email it was a bit shocking at first as it accused me of committing a crime.
Not only I was being accused of committing a crime that I certainly was unaware of, but it gave me a very short amount of time to get this off my record.
The email read:
Message intended for: David Drew
Mr./Ms. Drew, our traffic cameras recorded you running a red light on October 23, 2023. As such, you have been charged with a traffic citation.
You may contest this citation in court, or pay the fine online at gov-co.com/citations/payonline. You may do so no sooner than November 05, 2023, and no later than November 09, 2023.
Thank you for your attention,
Department of Transportation
Of course, the lines "recorded you running a red light" and "gov-co.com/citations/payonline" have links that I can conveniently click on to see me allegedly running the red light to pay the fine for my 'crime'.
I read enough about various scams to know you never click on a link that an unsolicited emailer provides, especially when they're trying to scare you and create a sense of urgency.
Most scam emails are badly written or very vague. For example, this one was from the generic "Department Of Transportation", rather than from a specific state. Also, as I looked at their actual email address it was <firstname.lastname@example.org>, which doesn't look legit at all.
It didn't take much digging online to find out that this scam has been targeting people for several years in different parts of the country and it has been reported to authorities. Had I clicked on either link I would've gotten scammed, whether it was opening my computer up to viruses or if I fell for it and wanted to pay, they'd have my payment info to steal money.
However, the fact that it's still out there leads me to believe some people are falling for it and becoming victims of this scam. It's for that reason we should spread the word about those so that those most vulnerable know to just delete this email and all those like it.
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