Fake tickets catching out drivers
Police forces in South Florida have warned on March 30 that motorists should be on the lookout for fake tickets, supposedly issued by red-light cameras in the area.
The scam usually involves motorists receiving a fraudulent fine that claims they've been caught on camera running through a red light. Such fines will often feature a grainy, black and white image of the rear of a car that's alleged to have been caught by the camera.
Fraudsters hope that motorists will be convinced that the image is of them in their car and then submit payment of a fine, at which point they will provide their name, address and credit card information which can then be charged and further exploited.
South Florida has recently seen a large number of such false fines being issued, many of which have caught out recipients.
The photographs look convincing
Commenting on the recent rise of this familiar scam, Major Mike Santiago of Lauderhill Police Department in Broward County was quick to acknowledge that the fraudulent fines can seem convincing, particularly when they include a photograph:
“It’s usually the back of the vehicle, the tag and they’ll put it in there a black and white photo, it’s not very clear on these forms,”
The presence of photographic evidence is often enough to convince unwitting drivers that the fine is legitimate, even if (as was spotted by one eagle-eyed recipient) the payment details for the fine are for an address that's out of state.
An old and familiar scam
Unfortunately, this isn't a new idea and fraudsters have been issuing fake fines that purport to be from red-light cameras for many years.
Similar scams seem to have been used for many years now, and it goes to show that fraudsters recognize that the best way of parting victims from their money is to prey on fear - in this case by convincing them that they've broken the law by driving through a red light.
Be on the lookout for fake fines!
Have you ever been victim of a scam that seemed to have originated from the police? Let me know in the comments section below.