By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer
In early August, Don Endecott saw an email from a @nyc.gov address that was purportedly from the New York State Police.
It included file attachments under the name: “Uniform Traffic Ticket.”
Don, an OOIDA member and 61-year veteran of trucking, clicked on the attachment – something he immediately regretted. It locked up his computer.
“I get some settlements online, and you open the attachments because you know who they’re from,” Don said. “The computer showed that McAfee (computer security) had blocked a trojan.”
A trojan horse is an attacking computer program that may appear to be a normal computer software file, when in reality it is designed to ruin computers and steal information from victims.
But it was more than the trojan that made Don wary. The ticket information was puzzling to Don because his company doesn’t have reason or legal authority to run in New York.
“I was wanting to know why my driver was up there,” he said. Of course, the driver wasn’t in New York at all.
According to a statement he later obtained from the Town of Chatham, New York State Police do not issue traffic violations via email. He’d been targeted by email scam.
“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 statement reads. “You do not need to contact the Chatham Town Court. Thank you.”
Don believes his computer is probably OK, though he’s taking it to a repair store to be sure.
Don called OOIDA and Land Line to warn other drivers about the scam.
Scams have targeted truckers since before he hauled cattle into the stockyards of Kansas City during the early 1950s, he said, and they’ll continue.
“I want others to know about this,” Don said.
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