If you frequently travel our Interstate Highway System, there is a good chance that you have an E-ZPass account.

Instead of always needing to make sure you have cash on hand to pay tolls, these transponders are linked to a prepaid account.  When you go through a toll booth, the correct amount is debited from that account.

In recent years, a series of high-speed E-ZPass 'booths' have been installed on our highways to increase high speeds further.  These allow the E-ZPass transponder to read at speeds in excess of 60 MPH.  Instead of crawling through an E-ZPass toll booth at 10 MPH, you can just keep on truckin'!

The E-ZPass scam

Like most technologies designed to make our lives easier, scammers are now attempting to get money from people who use the E-ZPass system.

The New Jersey Transit Authority recently posted an alert on their website, warning users to be aware of texts from scammers that are meant to appear as though they are legitimate E-ZPass messages.

Like many 'phishing' scams, these text messages tell the target that there is something wrong with their account, and that in order to avoid a disruption in their E-ZPass service, they need to click a link and update vital information.

Of course, the link is not to a legitimate E-ZPass or Department of Transportation website.  Instead, it takes the target to a website set up by the scammers.  Any information entered into the site goes directly to the scammers.

In addition to the scam being pulled on people from New Jersey, there have also been reports of it targeting E-ZPass users in Pennsylvania.  It won't be long before scammers attempt it in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and elsewhere in New England.  There is a chance that it has already happened in New England, but not been reported.

How do you protect yourself from this scam?

The best thing you can do is never to click on unsolicited links.

Also, if you have any doubt about the validity of a message, call the company or organization that supposedly sent the message.

If you receive a scam message, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission on their website.

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