We all have our opinions about parking tickets. The general consensus is that they suck! Some even might suggest that they are a scam perpetrated upon drivers by cities and towns looking for easy income. So there is some irony in the fact that these same cities and towns are now warning citizens about an email scam that uses parking violation notices to steal money and personal data from drivers.
Cities around the country (and even in other countries) are reporting that consumers are being fooled into thinking they are paying overdue parking tickets. Even worse, once the scammers get your payment, you are at risk of getting scammed for even more money, as well as unwanted access to your personal computer. The notices you get in an email look something like this:
This sophisticated phishing attack involves scammers who send emails that appear to be from the city, warning victims they have an outstanding parking ticket. They are told to pay $40 and click on a link. However, by pressing the suggested link, you could infect your computer with malware, possibly exposing sensitive identity information. Here’s the important point: Municipalities only notify and collect money through the mail. They don’t use e-mail.
If you receive an email claiming that you owe money for a parking violation, you should do only one thing: ERASE IT. If you have some time, you might notify your local City or district attorneys office about this scam. But do not click the link and do not pay it. Enough said!