Old scams. New twists. Read.

The Fake Ticket Scam

Scammers are spoofing emails from the New York State Police and are “issuing” tickets via email. It should be immediately obvious that police departments don’t email speeding tickets, but people have been falling for it and the IC3 and the New York State Police have both issued warnings regarding the scam.

This scam isn’t directed to initially get money out of you, but rather to gain access to your computer and likely use the information on it to steal your identity, bank account information, etc.

The IC3 writes…

TRAFFIC TICKET SPAM

The IC3 has received over 70 complaints since July 2011 reporting fraudulent e-mails claiming the recipient had been issued a traffic ticket. The spam, which spoofed a nyc.gov e-mail address, claimed to be from the New York State Police (NYSP). Complainants, throughout the U.S. and internationally, reported that the e-mail indicated a traffic ticket had been issued against them as a result of a moving violation. None of the complainants reported any monetary loss. The e-mail, as noted in the sample below, instructed them to print the ticket and mail it to a town court in Chatam Hall to plead.

Subject: Uniform traffic ticket
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET
POLICE AGENCY
NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Local Police Code
THE PERSON DESCRIBED ABOVE IS CHARGED AS FOLLOWS
Time
7:25 AMDate of Offense
07/05/2011IN VIOLATION OF
NYS V AND T LAW
Description of Violation
SPEED OVER 55 ZONE
TO PLEAD, PRINT OUT THE ENCLOSED TICKET AND SEND IT TO TOWN COURT, CHATAM HALL., PO BOX 117

You can read the New York State Police’s press releases on the issue here: Hoax Email Alert.

The easiest way to defend yourself against this one is to just use common sense and don’t open any attachments from people you don’t know

The Kelley Blue Book Scam

ONLINE VEHICLE SCAM USING KELLEY BLUE BOOK’S NAME
The IC3 has received complaints reporting fraudsters for misrepresenting themselves as Kelley Blue Book (KBB) agents to swindle victims out of thousands of dollars in online vehicle purchases. Upon finding a vehicle and making an inquiry to the seller, the complainant was told that the transaction must go through KBB’s escrow-based buyer-protection plan to protect both of them. The fraudster claimed that the protection plan would hold the buyer’s money for a five-day period while they could receive and inspect the vehicle.

The fraudster then sent the complainant a link, which was purportedly to the KBB website, providing details of the process. Some complainants reported that the fraudster sent pictures of the vehicle as well. Once the purchase was agreed upon, the fraudster sent the complainant an official-looking e-mail, purportedly from KBB, instructing them to wire the payment to a KBB agent.

Upon contacting the actual KBB company, complainants were advised that it was a scam and that KBB does not offer an escrow-based buyer-protection plan. Recent articles have been posted on the KBB website warning consumers of this particular scam.

Kelley Blue Book has taken the time to warn its users of this scam. You can read their press release and tips on how to avoid being scammed with car sales in general at their page Protecting Yourself From Online Fraud.

I said it a few days ago and I’ll say it again. Do NOT wire money to someone you do not personally know. NEVER wire money to someone you haven’t physically met in person. Once the money you wired gets picked up, there’s no chance at recovering it.

Stay safe out there and as always, do not hesitate to ask my advice. Leave a comment below if you’ve run into either scam or have seen variations on these scams.

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