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Scammers carry out extensive toll service text scams in the US, the FBI warns


April 16, 2024

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Scammers carry out extensive toll service text scams in the US, the FBI warns

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning consumers of a new text scam in which fraudsters impersonate a road toll collection service to trick people into giving away their PII and money.

According to a recent Public Service Announcement (PSA), scammers have been carrying out this extensive smishing campaign in at least three US states since March 2024, and it is still going on.

Moreover, the agency says that complaints (over 2,000) submitted through the IC3 suggest evidence indicates the scams continue to move “state to state.”

“The texts claim the recipient owes money for unpaid tolls and contain almost identical language,” the FBI said. “The ‘outstanding toll amount’ is similar among the complaints reported to the IC3,” the PSA noted. “However, the link provided within the text is created to impersonate the state’s toll service name, and phone numbers appear to change between states.”

Here’s a sample of the smishing text, as published by the FBI in the public announcement:

“(State Toll Service Name): We've noticed an outstanding toll amount of $12.51 on your record. To avoid a late fee of $50.00, visit https://myturnpiketollservices[.]com to settle your balance.”

The bureau urges individuals to stay vigilant and follow these recommendations should they receive similar texts:

  • Report the message via IC3 – mention the phone number and website listed in the scam text
  • Use the toll service's official website to check your account. Never access any links you receive in the unsolicited text
  • Reach out to the toll service’s customer service via phone to inquire about any unpaid tolls.
  • Secure your personal information and accounts if you submit personal and financial data via suspicious links and dispute the charges.

Need help fighting scam texts that could harm you financially?

Use Bitdefender Scamio to detect potential scams and scammers. How it works?

Simply send Scamio any texts, unsolicited messages, suspicious links, QR codes, or images you suspect may be scams. Our AI-powered scam detector will analyze them and let you know if they pose any risks. If they do, you can report the scam attempts to help other individuals, including your friends and family stay safe.




Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

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