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

Federal Green Party leader visits Ashcroft

Elizabeth May was in town with Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Green Party nominee John Kidder

Historic Cornwall fire lookout to get some tender loving care

Volunteers are being sought for a work bee at the lookout in August

Ashcroft resident now in his 25th year of riding to raise funds for BC Lung Association

Wayne Chorneychuk once more getting ready to ride in the Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath

Wildfire smoke can pose serious health risks

Tips to help you stay safe during the smoky summer season

Communities in Bloom judges coming to Ashcroft

All are invited to a meet and greet, where prizes for best gardens and street will be presented

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read