[WARNING] FBI Issues Alert on Major Phishing Campaign That Impersonates US Toll Services

FBI Warning Major Phishing CampaignThe FBI has issued an alert warning of a widespread SMS phishing (smishing) campaign targeting people in several US states with phony notices of unpaid tolls, BleepingComputer reports. 

The scammers are currently impersonating the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and E-ZPass services on the East Coast, but the FBI warns that the scam will likely expand to other states.

“Since early-March 2024, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received over 2,000 complaints reporting smishing texts representing road toll collection service from at least three states,” the Bureau says.

“IC3 complaint information indicates the scam may be moving from state-to-state. The texts claim the recipient owes money for unpaid tolls and contain almost identical language. The ‘outstanding toll amount’ is similar among the complaints reported to the IC3. However, the link provided within the text is created to impersonate the state's toll service name, and phone numbers appear to change between states.”

The text messages say, “We've noticed an outstanding toll amount of $12.51 on your record. To avoid a late fee of $50.00, visit https://myturnpiketollservices[.]com to settle your balance.”

Since the amount of money requested is believable, users are more likely to think the texts are legitimate. The phishing site is designed to trick users into sending money and handing over their financial information.

The FBI offers the following recommendations for users who encounter these attacks:

  • “File a complaint with the IC3, be sure to include: The phone number from where the text originated [and] the website listed within the text
  • “Check your account using the toll service's legitimate website
  • “Contact the toll service's customer service phone number
  • “Delete any smishing texts received
  • “If you clicked any link or provided your information, take efforts to secure your personal information and financial accounts. Dispute any unfamiliar charges”

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BleepingComputer has the story.

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