Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Consumer Scams and Frauds: New York State Traffic Ticket

While we’ve only gotten a few reports on this type of scam, it’s definitely something worth mentioning, plus we’ll probably see a few more in the future.

Imagine getting an email from the New York State Police regarding an unpaid traffic ticket. The email looks official and contains the date, time and a description of your violation.

The email is addressed to you personally and gives instructions about how to take care of it by clicking on a link to “fill out a form.” Most people will open this type of attachment even if they know they were never in the State of New York on the given date because they want to rectify the police error immediately.

The problem is that the message is not from any police department and the attachment is not a summons. Instead, it contains a type of virus or malware which is intended by criminals to attach itself to your computer and hopefully steal personal information from long distance.

Most police departments will never send you unsolicited emails regarding traffic citations and the odds are pretty slim that they’ll also be able to track you down through your email address.

Apparently this scam has gotten so bad that the New York State Police has asked that recipients of the hoax e-mail delete it and not forward it. They advise computer users to activate anti-virus software, firewalls and take other security measures, such as only opening e-mails from familiar sources.