By Jeff McConnell & James Mennella, Attorneys at law
In this issue of Road Law we take a look at a recent phishing email scam that an OOIDA member received in relation to a traffic citation. Most of us are aware of these types of scams as many of us have received them from sources pretending to be our bank, the IRS, etc. Below is a sample of one that you may have seen from your financial institution:
XYZ Bank of ABC was recently alerted to an email phishing scam circulating in this area. The email, seemingly from "XYZ Bank," notifies the user that their online banking access has been either suspended or locked and contains instructions to click on a link within the email in order for the customer to reset or reactivate their online banking access.
These emails are not from XYZ Bank of ABC. As always, if you suspect an email is fraudulent, do not click on any links in the email and never provide your personal information. XYZ Bank of ABC will not ask you to verify account numbers, credit or debit card numbers, Social Security numbers, PIN numbers or other personal information via email.
Now, assume that you receive a notice from what appears to be from a court with a notice of violation and request for payment. It makes you wonder if one of your drivers received a violation and failed to tell you about it. You may even want to quickly pay it so none of your trucks get detained at a port of entry. Well, don't be so quick to respond to any correspondence of this kind. Here is what happened.
Q. I received a notice of a violation for my trucking company from a Court in New York. I don't run any trucks in New York and this seems odd to me. What should I do?
A. You should not respond or open any attachments associated with this type of email. First, you don't run any trucks in the state of New York so you should naturally be suspect of the email you received. Second, we are not aware of any court or agency that would send you anything via email in relation to a traffic citation.
Q. Should I contact the court about this and see why they sent this to me?
A. You can try that just to make sure and to confirm their address, etc. A simple Google search turned up the following information on the court's website:
"If you have received an email advising that you have been charged with a traffic violation in the town of Chatham that directs you to open an attachment to view the violation, DO NOT OPEN IT. The New York State Police does not issue traffic violations via email. They are currently investigating the matter. You do not need to contact the Chatham Town Court. Thank you."
Q. Is there any type of violation that I would receive via email?
A. We are not aware of any reason why a law enforcement agency would contact you via email regarding a traffic citation. The only type of citations that we are currently aware of are photo radar and red light camera citations. However, when these are issued, they are sent via mail to the registered owner of the vehicle and never via email.LL
We invite you to send any questions or comments you may have regarding transportation law to: ROAD LAW, 3441 W. Memorial Rd., Suite 4, Oklahoma City, OK 73134; fax to 888-588-8983; contact us through our website at www.roadlaw.net; email us at email@example.com; or call us at 405-242-2030. We look forward to hearing from you.