DMV Warns Consumers of Fake Ticket Phishing Email Hoax to Collect Personal Information

In yet another phishing email hoax, the New York State DMV is now cautioning consumers against an email "phishing" campaign. This phishing attempt sends a notice to email users stating they must pay a ticket within 48 hours or their license will be revoked. While the notice is made to appear as if it comes from DMV, it is a hoax.

Though the recent press release is from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, campaigns for other states may be soon be phishing for personal information as well. The NY DMV advises that the "Email falsely claims to be from New York State DMV". The DMV also advises to "not click on links".

The phishing email hoax targets New York drivers, stating they have 48 hours to pay a fine or have their driver's license revoked. The NY DMV alerted motorists that the scam is just bait to entice them to click on a “payment” link. Once clicked, it will in turn infect their workstation with malware. The DMV does not know how many people have been affected, but Owen McShane, director of investigations at New York State DMV, said calls came in from New York City, Albany and Syracuse.

Olenick also went into more detail stating "The malware being dropped came in two categories. The first simply placed a tracking tool on the victim's computer to see what websites were visited; and the second, more nefarious, attempted to acquire a variety of personally identifiable information, such as names, Social Security numbers, date of birth and credit card information."

What to look for

There are several red flags that show the email is a scam. The supplied links lead to sites without an ny.gov URL, tied to the fact that the state would never make such a request. The hoax email lists a reference number and then reads something like this:

“The Department of Motor Vehicles does not send emails urging motorists to pay traffic tickets within 48 hours or lose your license,” said Terri Egan, DMV deputy executive commissioner, in a statement.

Recommended Action

We suggest you send your employees, co-workers, friends, and family an email about this scam, feel free to copy/paste/edit:

"Here is a reminder that you need to be alert for fake emails that look like they come from your local police or State Dept of Motor Vehicles (DMV) claiming you have a traffic violation. At the moment, there is a local scam in New York that falsely states you have outstanding violations you need to either pay for or refute, and if you don't your license will be revoked. This scam may spread to the rest of America soon. Remember that citations are never emailed with links in them, or sent out with an email attachment, and report scams like this to your local police department."

Obviously, an end-user who was trained to spot these red flags like this would have thought before they clicked. Additionally, email security solutions will likely trap these types of emails before they reach the mailbox.

We strongly suggest you get a quote for email security services for your organization - you'd be surprised how affordable they are. Contact us for a quote, today!

Reference: https://dmv.ny.gov/press-release/press-release-06-01-2017

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