Fake Photo Radar Ticket E-Mails

Scams and Identity Theft

Local residents are receiving scam emails that claim to be an electronic fine notice and claiming that the recipient had been caught on a red light camera or photo radar and now must click a link to pay the fine.

A sample of one of the many emails received is below:

You have been registered with a speed infringement:
Reason: negligent driving
Case No: 683190563
Date of infringement: 01/11/2016
Amount due: 340.21 CAD
This documentation will be sent by mail to your address. However you can visualize it now, please press here - LINK TO RANSOMWARE GOES HERE - Photo Proof - 358255938

The fee must be honoured within the statutory period of up to 25.11.2016. This is an automatically generated message, please do not reply.

Some important notes about this and the MANY other online scams and "phishing" schemes that entice you to click on the links and open attachments:

  1. Police, Banks and the Government (municipal, provincial and federal) Agencies WILL NOT SEND YOU OFFICIAL NOTICES BY EMAIL. They communicate by mail, courier and personal delivery. Mail scams are less prevalent but also common.
  2. The links found in these fake notices will lead to a look-a-like website where your personal information will be harvested, including passwords, banking information and as much personal details as you can be convinced to share with the scammers.
  3. The attachments that are found in the emails are often ZIP files, that contain infected word documents or PDF files that install the downloader that ultimately will encrypt your computer and any connected computers or drives with the ultimate intention of holding your data hostage until you pay a ransom. We find that many of the attachments come as MS Word documents that encourage you to enable macros (do NOT do this) to see the content of the document.

The fact that the subject of this latest email involves photo radar is simply a ploy by the criminals who run these scams to capitalize on topics that are in the news and may make you more likely to open the email and the attachments.

Stay safe online but not opening email from unknown senders, hover over links to see where they will actually take you, don't open suspicious attachments and keep you computer and mobile devices protected with current anti-virus as well as data backups that are not always connected to your computer so you can restore your data if you become infected or encrypted.