There is a new e-mail scam doing the rounds.

Beware of fake requests for payment of traffic fines

A new scam uses threats of a traffic ticket to try to part you from your money.

If you receive an e-mail claiming that you have been caught in an instance of “negligent driving”, don’t click on any links. The e-mails are being received by people all across the country; but they are a scam, says Evan Kelly, senior communications advisor for the Better Business Bureau serving Mainland BC.

“They look like an urgent call to action, and contain a link that they want you to click, saying they have photo proof of the infraction,” says Kelly. He adds that he has not followed the link, so has no idea where it goes. The scammers could be asking for credit card information, or it could be that by clicking on the link malware or ransomware will be installed on your computer. These “lock” the computer, then give a phone number where computer owners can, after paying a fee of up to several hundred dollars, get their computer “unlocked”.

Kelly says that ICBC has received several complaints about the e-mails, which contain a few tip-offs that they are not legitimate.

“They contain bad spelling and bad grammar, which is not unusual. Neither ICBC nor the RCMP send out e-mails asking for payment for traffic violations. And the e-mails claim the charge is ‘negligent driving’, but there is no B.C. law on the books about ‘negligent driving’. The closest thing we have to that would be ‘driving without due care and attention’.”

The traffic ticket e-mails are a type of scam called “phishing”. Anyone who receives an e-mail that looks as if it is part of a phishing scam should not click on any links or attachments; should be wary of urgent instructions, such as “click on the link or your account will be closed”; and should delete the e-mail from their inbox (and empty the trash or recycling bin as well). If you are not certain whether the e-mail is legitimate, contact the company directly.

Kelly also warns about fake electronic cards, or e-cards, which are increasingly popular, particularly during the holiday season. “These should be addressed to you personally, not just a generic ‘my favourite nephew’,” he says.

He advises people not to click on the link to open an e-card unless they can confirm who the sender is. “Sometimes it’s best to check with the sender before you open it. Don’t just open an e-card assuming you know who it’s from. And you can always just delete it; the sender will never know.”


Just Posted

Man, 31, charged in Cache Creek fatal shooting

Corey Richard Harkness appeared on one count of murder in provincial court in Kamloops

One man dead after shooting in Cache Creek

A gofundme page has been set up to fund a Celebration of Life for Brock Ledoux

Historic Nicola Valley church destroyed by fire

Murray United Church one of four Merritt-area churches touched by fire on same night

South Cariboo Minor Soccer gears up for new season

Registration has increased steadily every year since 2014, with the league nearly doubling in size

Local News Briefs: Ashcroft features in new movie

Plus workshops, a concert, a hockey fundraiser, grants, a health care survey, and much more

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Most Read