CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office says an E-ZPass email phishing scam is reoccurring in the state.
The scam is again popping up in states that contract with E-ZPass to allow motorists to pay tolls electronically on turnpikes and toll roads. The West Virginia Parkways Authority has received several calls about the scam in recent days, according to the AG's office.
“This scam is nearly identical to one that occurred last summer in our state,” Morrisey said in a statement. “These scammers are taking advantage of the summer travel season, when drivers are frequently on the road and using tolls, to try and bilk money from consumers.”
In this phishing scam, E-ZPass customers receive emails from an account that appears to be affiliated with the company. The email claims the E-ZPass customer has “missed” or “unpaid” toll fees and asks them to click on a link to get more information and pay the fees. However, the email is a fraud.
“Once the consumer clicks on the link in the email, the scammers can gain access to their computer and can steal any personal or financial information it contains,” Morrisey said. “It’s important that consumers remain vigilant when they get these types of unsolicited emails and not fall for scammers’ scare tactics.”
The West Virginia Parkways Authority emphasizes that the E-ZPass database has not been hacked and that all customer data is secure. This is simply a random scammer trying to access information from people’s computers using a deceptive email.
The Attorney General’s Office advises consumers to delete these emails if one should appear in their inbox. Consumers should not reply to the email or click on the link.
If a consumer wants to check the status of their E-ZPass account, they should contact the West Virginia Parkways Authority’s E-ZPass customer service department at 800-206-6222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cyber Crime Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the matter. Anyone who receives this email scam is encouraged to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/.