WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to the District’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), D.C. residents are being targeted by a “phishing” scam in which residents receive e-mail messages that have “Notice of Overdue Parking Violation(s)” in the subject line and ask consumers to pay past-due fines and late fees or face having their vehicles impounded. The messages direct the consumers to a website that the Attorney General believes may be used to steal consumers’ personal information for identity theft. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is alerting residents to be wary of this and similar scams.
“Phishing is a way to steal information from consumers through the Internet, and it can lead to major problems -- including identity theft,” Attorney General Karl A. Racine said. “Consumers should always be extremely vigilant and verify that any e-mail message they receive actually comes from its purported sender before clicking on a link contained in that message.”
The DMV reports that messages from a particular email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, falsely claim to be a “Notice of Unsatisfied Photo Enforcement Ticket.” The messages also direct recipients to click on an internal link to “Lost Traffic Tickets.”
Unless residents have registered for the DMV’s email ticket alert system, recipients of such tickets will only receive notices of photo-enforcement traffic tickets through the U.S. Postal Service. Those notices are mailed to the street address associated with the tag number of the ticketed vehicle, and they contain specific information on how to contest the ticket by submitting a request for adjudication. If customers have registered for DC DMV’s email ticket alert system, they will receive an email notifying them to log into their account for an update on a ticket.
Consumers who have received ticket-notice messages from email@example.com should report those messages to the Federal Trade Commission. District consumers can also report phishing scams or any other consumer complaint to OAG’s Office of Consumer Protection through the OAG Consumer Hotline at (202) 442-9828, by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or online using OAG’s Consumer Complaint Form.
For more information about online privacy, scams to avoid, and other consumer-protection issues, visit OAG’s Consumer Protection Page.