How the scam works:
The traffic infringement scams are back. In the first scenario, scammers call households claiming to be representatives of the local Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the police. They inform the owners they have a red light traffic fine pending, threatening the suspension of their driver’s license or with huge interest rates.
To make it sound more realistic, scammers not only use official language, but they give the location of the red light (if the crooks are local, they use a well-known intersection that has a camera). However, to seem friendly, they will conveniently offer the victims the choice of paying through the phone.
A second variation of the traffic fine comes currently from Australia. The motorists receive an email scam that requests payment for a bogus AFP Traffic Infringement Notice. The scam email initially asks the recipient to pay an ‘AFP fine’ of approximately $150. If links within the message are clicked, the recipient’s computer is infected with malware which renders it inoperable.According to AFP, "at that point ransomware is activated where the recipient is asked to pay thousands of dollars to reactivate their computer".
How to avoid:
In the first scenario the police (nor the Department of Public Safety) will ever call drivers about their red light tickets, so don’t fall for it. Needless to say, the victims who are falling the most for this scam are the ones that actually ran the red light recently and might expect a fine. Make sure you drive carefully and stop at the lights. In the second variation, ignore the email and delete it.
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