Have you recevied an email saying you owe money for driving on a toll road? If so, it could be a scam that could lead to identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission consumers have been receiving emails from E-Pass claiming they owe money and that they must pay immediately to avoid further action. If you received such a message, even if it appears to be legit with the real E-Z Pass logo, the FTC warns that it could be a scam that could lead either to identity theft or malware on your computer.
Many of us here in Santa Ana or elsewhere recently experienced the Toll Roads going cashless, so if you accidentally pass a toll booth here in the Orange County area, the Toll Roads will actually send you a letter and invite you to log on to their website to pay your toll within 30 days to avoid future penalties, but make sure you are visiting an address beginning with https which means its secure.
If you received this type of email, it is most likely fake. According to consumer complaints this year, scammers send emails containing malware. If you open an email from E-Z Pass or other toll road scam, you could be infecting your computer with viruses or malware which can allow cyber-criminals access to your entire computer which could result in identity theft. If you feel your computer has been infected, for free ongoing protection visit Malwarebytes Anti-malware at https://www.malwarebytes.org/
Keep yourself safe from identity theft by never clicking on an email unless you are sure who sent it to you. Never send your personal information or follow a link sent by email. Report any suspicious emails to the FTC by forwarding it to the following address firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in Santa Ana or elsewhere and you have been the victim of identity theft or toll road scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If you need help as a victim of identity theft visit the Identity Theft Resource Center which is a non-profit organization offering free resources, counseling and help on restoring your identity by visiting, http://www.idtheftcenter.org/id-theft/state-resources.html or by calling 888-400-5530
To help raise awareness about toll road scams and identity theft, be sure to forward this article to your friends and family and be sure to subscribe for the latest updates on identity theft.
Schifferle, L. (2014). Think it's E-Z? OnGuardonline.gov. Retrieved from