RICHMOND, Va. - Thousands of Virginia drivers use E-ZPass to zip through tolls without having to stop and throw change at the toll booth. But now the Virginia Department of Transportation is warning those drivers about a scam that could slow them down.
The scam involves an email that appears to be from E-ZPass. The email warns E-ZPass customers they did not pay a toll and instructs them to click a link to download the invoice.
"Please be advised that this is not a communication from E-ZPass," VDOT posted on its E-ZPass website. "It is likely a phishing scam. We advise you not to open or respond to the message."
Phishing scams tend to link to malware that could infect your computer and compromise your personal information. VDOT said official emails from E-ZPass Virginia include the following return email addresses NoReply@ezpassva.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It makes me just want to shut everything down regarding the internet,” said Sandra Acevedo. "It's something that's automatically drafted out of my account when it hits a certain balance."
She believes she may be a victim after a similar email showed up in her box.
"Which was to tell me that I owed money on the account which I didn't understand. So, it wanted me to make a payment and I went ahead and did so,” said Acevedo.
Acevedo logged on and typed in her name, address, and credit card information. She never realized it could be a scam.
"All I'm seeing is that EZ pass. I'm automatically going to think that, that's my account,” said Acevedo.
"We would not send an invoice via email. If we needed to invoice our customers or other motorists, we would send that U-S mail,” said Shannon Marshall, VDOT spokesperson.
Marshall said VDOT was notified this week about the phishing scam. But she can’t say where it came from or how long it’s been out there.
VDOT has issued a warning to it’s 900,000 E-Z pass holders about the suspicious email.
“We want customers to be vigilante. Look out for emails that may seem suspicious. And if they have even an ounce of question to contact us,” said Marshall.
As for Acevedo, she's not sure if her personal information has been compromised.
Anyone with questions or concerns is asked to call the Customer Service Center at 877-762-7824.