You’re in all probability conscious of scams referred to as “phishing,” however are you aware of “smishing?” The FBI and the Virginia Department of Transportation say you have to be.

You’re in all probability conscious of scams referred to as “phishing,” however are you aware of “smishing?”

The FBI and the Virginia Department of Transportation say you have to be, particularly in case you use toll roads.

It’s a rip-off, however not like phishing, which makes use of emails and web sites to attempt to dupe you, smishing schemes use textual content messages. The time period comes from combining “phishing” and “brief messaging service,” also referred to as SMS.

“They attempt to get you to click on one thing, and on this case, a textual content. And that hyperlink normally sends you to a nasty place the place, in case you present info … it’s going to be a nasty consequence,” stated David Caudill, division administrator for VDOT’s Tolling Operations Division.

One such scheme authorities are monitoring entails fraudulent texts concerning toll balances.

Caudill stated VDOT hasn’t acquired a report in regards to the scheme in Virginia, however neighboring North Carolina has, together with Pennsylvania and Illinois.

After greater than 2,000 complaints in a minimum of three states, the FBI issued a warning this week in regards to the assaults.

“It’s type of a broad web we’re throwing out to anyone within the drives, principally, and even in case you don’t drive, to somebody that has a cellphone quantity. And they’re principally providing you with info that you’ve an impressive toll and it is advisable go to a web site, that’s the embedded hyperlink, to pay it,” Caudill stated.

When it involves Virginia’s tolling system, he stated officers do use textual content messages to share info with you about your account.

“The distinction between our texts and what we’re speaking about right here is we don’t have an embedded hyperlink,” he stated.

His recommendation: by no means click on a hyperlink within a textual content message a few toll steadiness.

In its warning, the FBI shared an instance of the rip-off message:

“(State Toll Service Name): We’ve seen an impressive toll quantity of $12.51 in your report. To keep away from a late payment of $50.00, go to to settle your steadiness.”

Caudill stated, in Virginia, there are two web sites to make use of, the Toll Roads in Virginia website and the E-ZPass site, when checking a steadiness or including funds to your account. You may also name 877-762-7824 for a message concerning whether or not an impressive toll is due.

“It doesn’t appear to be hitting Virginia residents but, however we’re attempting to get in entrance of it simply to create that consciousness,” Caudill stated of the rip-off.

If you do consider you had been a sufferer of the rip-off, authorities say to save lots of the textual content and file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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