Another day another scam, or so it seems. The latest way online scammers separate consumers from their hard-earned cash is through toll road text scams.
According to a media report, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) said it had received about 750 reports of this type of scam since January1, with one unlucky motorist reportedly losing thousands of dollars to a toll road text scam.
A spokesperson from the consumer watchdog, the ACCC, said recipients received a text message with a link that directed them to pay a bill or provide details, and victims had already lost about $29,000. One media report claimed that a scam victim received an honest-looking text from a toll road provider to top up her account with as little as $20. Soon after, she discovered that as much as $4,000 had been charged to her credit card by the scammers.
“For victims that have clicked on the link and provided all details, they would then find fraudulent transactions on their credit card,” the ACCC spokesperson said.
What are toll road text scams?
Toll road text scams are a type of SMS phishing scam that takes advantage of major toll road brands such as Linkt in Melbourne and Sydney’s E-Toll. The NSW-based toll road provider has been warning motorists about these scams since 20202.
In an online statement3, Linkt stated, “We will never email or SMS you to ask for your personal information or login details. We may ask you to verify your personal details to authenticate your identity when we speak to you over the phone.
According to Linkt, some users have reported that after receiving a scam email or SMS, they are directed to a website that contains Linkt branding. These websites can look very credible.
They may ask you to log in or have fields that ask you to put in or search for an invoice number. Check for common signs of phishing sites like spelling errors, poor grammar or URLs that do not start with https://www.linkt.com.au.
Likewise, E-Toll warned motorists4 about emails coming from fake addresses such as:
If you smell a rat after doing some checks, don’t interact with the bogus website or enter any information or user details. Please take a screenshot and report the incident to your toll road provider.
Important note: This information is of a general nature and is not intended to be relied on by you as advice in any particular matter. You should contact us at Defence Bank to discuss how this information may apply to your circumstances.