Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Latest Scam: E-Z Pass

From a news story:

"It seems like every time we have something good, scammers can find a way to cause a problem. If you travel the toll roads, watch out.

Con artists posing as E-Z Pass officials are using email in an attempt to collect “unpaid” tolls. The emails, however, carry viruses that infect your computer and can set you up to become a victim of identity theft.

Here’s the way it works: You receive an email that appears to be from E-Z Pass. The correct colors and logo are used. The message says you ignored previous bills for unpaid tolls and you are urged to pay immediately. You can do this by downloading an attached “invoice.”

If you download the attachment, it appears that nothing has happened – but that is not the case. Instead you just downloaded a virus to your computer. These viruses scan your machine for personal and banking information, which opens you up to the threat of ID theft."

Forewarned is forearmed.

I’m even more glad now than I was previously about canceling my E-Z Pass account several years ago.

When I saw that I laughed. The closest EZpass road to me must be 1000 miles !

I don’t use EZpass

Which raises a question

How do the con artists know who to send the fake emails to?

Do they have a master list of EZpass customers?

Send out thousands, hoping somebody clicks on the link?

Maybe they have complex links ?
I got one of those emails and, like I said, laughed at it .
Yet my daughter and s.i.l. lived in DC and he used one daily…so I wonder too …

The advent of the internet opened up an entirely new world of scams. What’s tragic is the number of people who wade into those scams with both eyes open.

About 10 years ago I could not log into “My eBay” account no matter what. Digging a bit further I discovered that there were over 900 auctions running under my ID and which I had nothing to do with.
Some scammer in the U.K. had hacked my account and was running hundreds of Buy It Now auctions.

After being on the phone with eBay quite some time a hold was put on the auctions and they were removed in blocks of 50 over the next 2 days.
What’s unknown to me is how many people may have been scammed under my ID before this was caught and who may be incorrectly cursing me to this day.

“How do the con artists know who to send the fake emails to?
Do they have a master list of EZpass customers?
Send out thousands, hoping somebody clicks on the link?”

I think that your last guess is the correct answer.
For example, several times over the past few years, I have received e-mails about “your account at SunTrust Bank”.

SunTrust is based in Florida, and I live in NJ–many miles from their nearest branch.
Needless to say, I don’t have an account at that bank.

If these scammers send out–let’s say–10,000 e-mails, and only–let’s say–a couple of hundred gullible SunTrust bank customers click on the link, the scammers have achieved their goal.

I also receive a few emails for credit cards I don’t have or bank accounts I don’t have. I ignore all of them. If there is a problem, I will sign into my account to check it out or call the company after getting the number off my card or their web site. No, I don’t click on any links in the suspicious email. I received an interesting one recently concerning a purchase I just made. It was from Russia. At least I assume *.ru is in Russia.


NEVER click on a link in an e-mail that is supposedly from your bank or your credit card issuer.
Instead, sign onto their website as you normally do, and then transact your inquiries or your business.

I generally avoid Illinois and Wisconsin and toll roads. Last time I did the Illinois/Indiana/Ohio turnpike, I think it cost me $100 just for the privelidge of driving on the deteriorating roads. Plus when I bought gas, I sure didn’t get a tax discount for using toll roads. Don’t have any in Minnesota though.

Maybe when we win the 100 year war on drugs we can divert some of the resources to a war on scammers.

The newer toll roads in MD and VA don’t accept cash for rolls. For one, you have to use EZ Pass. Actually I like EZ Pass. We use it and it does speed up moving through the toll booths. I wish we could go through the toll checker at highway speed, though.


Is the rationale that people won’t have the exact/correct change anyways, so therefore you have to use EZpass?

I think it is to save money by not having toll takers. People cost a lot more than the toll checker machines over the long haul. The Greenway between Dulles, Va and Leesburg, Va is unattended, but they accept credit cards. And you need one since the trip costs $6 to go 15 miles. Highway robbery!


Yes, I believe you’re correct. I wasn’t even considering the worker’s salaries, until you mentioned it

$6 to go 15 miles . . . that works out to 40 cents/mile

A hefty fee

Good grief! talk about highway robbery-Kevin

These kind of lowlife hardly even get into most inboxes. The ISPs either throw them away or put them in your Spam folder. Maybe one in a hundred gets to an inbox (often at a minor mail system that isn’t using the best tools), and if it’s obviously Spam or phasing it will get thrown away by almost everybody. Of the few that make it to inboxes, most are deleted without being read. The ones that are read are rarely acted on because they don’t sound correct. Wrong part of the country, obvious errors in spelling and grammar, not addressed properly (Dear Mrs. Mark.) These guys (almost all in Asia) are happy if one person responds for every ten thousand messages. As time has gone on and more of the messages don’t even reach the addressee they have had to settle for lower and lower cost click-through rates. That’s getting you to read the message and click on the link. It’s a common metric in email marketing. The serious phasers don’t tell anyone what kind of responses they’re getting. They are very shadowy sorts.

When I was selling, on down days you’d just get on the phone and start calling. The average was always one sale in 100 calls. Didn’t matter, just had to make the 100 calls and somebody would bite. I guess its all math. With email one in a thousand would be pretty good.


If you don’t mind me asking, what kinds of things were you selling over the phone?

Insurance and auto club memberships. A learning experience.

db4690 I’m guessing they send out 10s of thousands hoping for some hits. It’s called phishing. They also do it for “unpaid parking/traffic tickets”. Authorities only notify by USPS mail.